The St. James wrestling team has a lot of new faces at the varsity level. With new players comes a learning curve. The Tigers ran into a steep learning curve when they traveled to Osage to face off with the Indians on Monday, Nov. 19. St. James was swept in the match, losing all 11 matches via pin.
The match started off at 113 after both teams were open at 106. Kaylynn Crocker lasted the longest for St. James, but she was pinned by Jacob Zelle midway through the second period. After another double open at 120, Elijah Wilcox was pinned by Ryan Shepers midway through the first period. James Poelling had the same fate against Kody Dowell at 132, as did Heather Pankey at 138 against Mason Dulle.
St. James had their second match last into the second period at 145, but Justin Craft was pinned by Chase Cordia 14 seconds into the second period. The Tigers were open at 152, giving up another six points, before Nick Halbrook was pinned by Aaron Cuddy in the second period at 160. Jack Creasy pinned Sage Gibson midway through the first period at 170, before Donnie Martinez was pinned by Rudy Escobar in the second period. St. James was pinned in the first period in their final three matches with Dustin Davies, Thomas Corliss and Donald Grouns all falling to end the match. Osage swept the match with a final score of 72-0.
"I think we saw what we expected as far as having a young team like this," said head coach Beau Moreland after the match. "Having the eye-opener of what a varsity match is like compared to junior high or youth stuff...you've got to start off somewhere. This is kind of where I expected us to be. We've got a couple of good leaders on this team. Kaylynn Crocker and Sage and Nick are going to make sure these guys get back in the room and we all work, including themselves and hopefully when we get to Pleasant Hill we can learn from what we saw here and continue to grow. Hopefully by the time Districts roll around, we're a solid team."
The Tigers are off for the rest of the week with Thanksgiving around the corner. Next up is the Pleasant Hill Tournament on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 30 - Dec. 1.