The Rolla wrestling team made the trip to Parkview for the Ozark Conference Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 3. The Bulldogs finished in third place as a team and had all but one of their wrestlers finish in the top four with two championships.
The Sederburg brothers opened the tournament at 106 and 113. Xander Sederburg kicked things off at 106. After a bye to open the tournament, Xander beat Lebanon's Cole Patton on a 10-3 decision to earn a spot in the championship match. Xander wrestled Camdenton's Grant Garrett in the championship, but the match couldn't be settled in three periods. Garrett was able to pull out a 6-4 sudden victory in the overtime to put Xander in second place. Anthony then wrestled at 113, starting his weekend with a first period pin of Parkview's Ethan Fulfer. He then tech falled Jacob Fuglsang from Camdenton 16-0 to earn a spot in the championship. Anthony went on to pin Lebanon's Hogan Fisher early in the second period to take first place.
"It was exciting for (Anthony) to win his first conference title," said Rolla head coach Marty Hauck. "He's been on fire, we're looking for good things for him. He's been in big matches in the past and hopefully he can stay calm and keep doing our thing there. He's gonna have a tough District Tournament and obviously a tough State Tournament as well."
Nate Pulliam then won Rolla's second championship at 120. The Rolla freshman kept his perfect season alive with three straight pins. Pulliam started things off with a 47 second pin of Waynesville's Issac Peterson, before pinning Bailey Fisher from Glendale in the second. That set up a championship match against Lebanon's Hunter Lewis, where Pulliam got the pin with 30 seconds to spare in the second period.
"He's done an outstanding job. He had a tough match once again and every time he has a tough match, he rises to the occasion and stays calm and wrestles through it," said coach Hauck. Hopefully he can continue to stay calm in the big matches in the next couple of weeks."
While one perfect season for Rolla stayed alive, one saw it's first loss. Zach Fennell took his first loss of the season after earning a spot in the championship match. Fennell opened the tournament with a bye, before tech falling Wyatt Stamper from Camdenton 20-4. Fennell was wrestling a solid match against Cole Roark from Lebanon, but an aggressive move backfired and he was caught for a pin.
"He got caught. We went for an aggressive move, which is what we wanted to do, we wanted to push the pace," said coach Hauck. "We tried to get a takedown and got caught out of position and he caught us with a head and arm. Hats off to him, he's a great wrestler as well."
Rolla's final championship match was at 145 with Coleman Brainard. The senior captain kicked off the tournament with a second period pin over Kickapoo's Marquese Gaten. He then went on to win an 11-5 win over Lebanon's Caleb Shields to set up a championship match against Waynesville's Michael Cassidy. Cassidy had the upper-hand in the championship to win 4-2 and put Brainard in second place.
Dathan Mickem then earned a spot on the podium at 132. Mickem opened the weekend with a 58 second pin of Garrett Greve from Kickapoo. Mickem ran into Gaven Sax from Waynesville in the semi-final, falling 6-1 to the eventual champion. He recovered in the consolation bracket with a 58 second pin over Joplin's Derrick Brozek, before beating Cade Schmitz from Lebanon 2-0 to take third.
Justin McEnaney wrestled at 138 for Rolla, taking fourth place. McEnaney started the tournament with a 14-1 major decision loss against Joplin's Brayden Williams to go to the consolation bracket. He went on to win the next two matches with an 8-0 major decision win over Parkview's Noah Farrales and a 15-0 tech fall win over Hayden Dearborn from Lebanon to advance to the third place match. McEnaney ran into Williams again in that third place match, losing again on a major decision 10-2.
Lucas Lambeth also found himself in a third place match at 152. After a pin of Waynesville's Aaron Choi, Lambeth took a 6-1 loss to Camdenton's Jesus Ramirez to go to the consolation bracket. Lambeth bounced back with a 33 second pin of Kickapoo's Jake Wannenmacher, before tech falling Payton Ripper from Glendale 16-0 to finish in third.
Bryce O'Connor took third place for the Bulldogs at 160. After a first round bye, O'Connor was pinned by Waynesville's Daniel Albrecht with 15 seconds left in the second period. He recovered in the consolation bracket with a 25 second pin of Reece Hill from Parkview. O'Connor faced off against Lebanon's Jake Henson for the third place match, where he got his second straight pin to finish off his weekend.
David Bridges also wrestled in a third place match for Rolla at 182. Bridges opened the tournament by getting pinned in the first period by Kickapoo's Evan Bowler. His first consolation match came against David Fiscus from Joplin, where Bridges got a pin at the beginning of the second period. Bridges found himself in a rematch with Bowler for his third place match, where he took a 13-3 major decision loss to place fourth.
Colton Franks finished in fourth place for the Bulldogs at 195. After opening the tournament with a pin of Hillcrest's Qunici Attyberry, before getting pinned by Caleb Brown from Lebanon in the third period. That put Franks in the consolation bracket, where he pinned Joplin's Nicolas Lewis before losing a 5-3 decision to Kickapoo's Noah Jennerjohn.
Jacob Dobkins also finished in fourth place for Rolla at 220. After a pin of Grant Miller from Kickapoo, Dobkins was pinned by Joplin's Jadyn Withrow at the end of the second period. He went on to pin Parkview's Corbin Hill in just 10 seconds, before getting pinned in the third period by Ethan Gatzemeyer from Waynesville in the third place match.
Justin Briggs capped off the tournament with Rolla's final finish on the podium at 285. After a first round bye, Briggs lost a 7-0 decision to Joplin's Jacob Booe. Brigs went into the consolation bracket guns blazing with a 55 second pin of Kickapoo's Davis Kwon, before pinning Waynesville's Tim Brech in the first period to take third place.
Rolla's only wrestler outside of the top four was Jacob Phillips. The senior was tech falled by Waynesville's Devon Stearns in his first match at 170, before getting pinned by Lebanon's Jon Berry in the consolation semi-final.
As a team, Rolla finished in third place with 184 team points. Waynesville took the conference meet with 199.5 team points, while Lebanon finished in second with 196 team points.
"We were excited," said coach Hauck. "I didn't feel like it was our best showing that we've had all year, but Waynesville had an outstanding tournament and so did Lebanon and they got us."
The wrestlers weren't the only ones to come home with honors for Rolla, as coach Hauck was also named the Ozark Conference coach of the year. While Hauck was pleased to win the award for the second time in his three year at Rolla, he said the award belongs to his wrestlers.
"Like I told the kids, that's their award. That's the kids and my assistant coaches," said the Rolla head coach. "I try to surround myself with great people, that's exactly what we've tried to do and it shows."
Districts are right around the corner for Rolla, as the Bulldogs will head down to Carthage on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 9-10. Coach Hauck just wants to see his kids fine tune things over the next few days.
"We had 13 out of our 14 place in the top four here at the conference and if we can do that Districts then obviously, we're gonna be a very happy team," said Hauck. "Our focus here this week is correct mistakes we made this past season and to continue to look forward."