The Rolla wrestling team traveled to Lebanon to take part in the Ozark Conference Meet on Thursday, Jan. 31. The Bulldogs had a great night with a second place finish and a total of five first place finishes.
The first championship came from from freshman Hunter Hoffman at 106. He started the night with a 25 second pin of Kickapoo's Mitchell Lambert, before a 54 second pin of Camdenton's Kaiden Shivers. Hoffman faced Lebanon's Josiah Perryman in the final, where he cruised to a 10-0 major decision win. Head coach Marty Hauck was glad to see his young 106 shine at the conference meet.
"He's a freshman and he's done a great job for us all year and he knows that the competition in Districts is going to get even tougher," said coach Hauck. "We've seen all of the opponents though and it's great to see him peaking at the right time. It's great to have him start off that championship round and the semi round the way that he did."
The championship run continued for Rolla at 120 with Xander Sederburg, who pinned his way to a championship. Sederburg started with a first period pin of Kickapoo's Theo Holleman, before pinning Lebanon's Bo Rosen in the semifinals. He faced off against Camdenton's Grant Garrett in the final, getting a pin in the second period to claim the championship. Sederburg was quite familiar with Garrett, who handed the Rolla 120 a rare loss on Monday. Coach Hauck was thrilled with the way he bounced back.
"I don't give an excuse for a kid at all, but the kid's head was in a trash can, he's throwing up the entire time and that's probably a bad coaching choice on my part to put him out there, but he wanted to compete," said Hauck on Sederburg's first matchup with Garrett on Monday. "He turns around and two days later and he pins the kid, so not only does he revenge his loss, but he also gets bonus points on him so when it goes to seeding criteria for Districts, he has the leg up now."
The Bulldogs kept rolling when Zack Fennell made his return to the mat at 126. After a first round bye, Fennell pinned Colton Libby from Camdenton in 31 seconds in the semifinals. Fennell faced Lebanon's Hunter Lewis in the final, getting a 3-1 victory to finish in first.
The next weight saw yet another championship for Rolla, as Nate Pulliam cruised at 132. After a first period pin of Glendale's Clint Wigginton, Pulliam pinned Parkview's Junior Lamarre in the second period to earn a spot in the final. Pulliam had a rematch against Lebanon's Cole Roark in the final. Earlier in the season, Pulliam beat Roark 1-0, but the Bulldog junior had an easier time in the rematch, cruising to a 10-1 major decision win for the championship.
While coach Hauck was excited to have a great string of championships, he was just as glad that he had the chance to pencil the names Fennell and Pulliam into the same lineup for the first time this season.
"It's just great to have them both in the lineup," said Hauck, "This is really the first time that they've been in the lineup together this season and they both obviously shined and the team shined and tried to keep up with them."
Rolla's final championship win came from Hayden Fane at 160. Fane started by pinning Central's Tony Nguyen at the end of the first period. He followed that with another late first period pin of Glendale's Bryce Clark to end up in the final. Fane faced Lebanon's Colton Adkins in the first place match, puling out a 4-0 victory to claim the championship.
Those five weren't the only Bulldogs in championship matches either, as Rolla had two other competitors finish in second. The first was Dathan Mickem at 138. After a first round bye, Mickem was able to grind out a 5-4 win over Jacob Ziegler from Camdenton. He faced Lebanon's Reagan Mowery in the final, but was pinned in the second period to finish second.
Titus Taylor also had a strong run on the way to a second place finish. Filling in for the injured Bryce O'Connor, Taylor started his run at 170 with a bye. He then pinned Camdenton's Travis Ferguson midway through the second period to earn a spot in the final, where he was pinned by Lebanon's Jaden Ivey in the second period.
The Bulldogs also had four third place finishes on the day. The first came from their lone senior competing in the varsity meet, Justin McEnaney at 145. McEnaney started with a first round bye, before narrowly losing a 4-3 decision against Lebanon's Elijah Arl. He then pinned Central's Max Skolnick-Schur midway through the second period. McEnaney then won an 11-2 major decision over Kickapoo's Tai Koyama to finish in third.
Andre Ridenhour then had his own third place finish at 152. He started with a pin of Camdenton's Dakota Boller in the first round, before losing his semifinal match to Waynesville's Michael Cassidy 13-2. Ridenhour bounced back with a 12-11 win over Glendale's Tanner Rust, before pinning Elisha Valentine from Parkview in the third place match.
Colton Franks also had a third place finish for the Bulldogs at 182. Franks fell to Lebanon's Jake Henson in the semifinal 1-0, before receiving a bye in the third place match.
David Rogers rounded out the third place finishes at 195. After a first round loss to Waynesville's Andrew Leitold, Rogers bounced back in the consolation bracket with a pin of Hillcrest's Quinci Attyberry. Rogers then finished in third after beating Mykola Liubimov from Central 7-1.
Rounding out the finishes for Rolla were Terrance Horton at heavyweight and Christopher Williams at 220. Williams finished in fourth. After getting pinned in his first match, Horton had back to back pins to earn a spot in the third place match. Horton was then pinned by Tim Brecht of Waynesville to finish fourth. Williams failed to place after getting pinned by Camdenton's Cort Petty and Glendale's Thonan Rabourn.
Rolla will now have some much needed time off, as their next action will be Districts in Union next weekend, Feb. 8-7.
"We've just got to get healthy," said coach Hauck. "We've got to get some sickness out of the room. At this point in the year, you're not teaching new moves, you're fine tuning some things."