Winfield’s wrestlers are heading towards districts this weekend fresh off some successful performances at tournaments at Priory for the boys and Seckman for the girls.
At Priory, Matthew Hornbeck (106 lbs) placed first, going 18-11 and beating Jeremy Goslin of Orchard Farm and Kirksville wrestler Chance McKim. Xavier Baldwin (120 lbs) went 6-5 for third place. In the 126 lbs class, Austin Gross placed third, and Brennan Hornbeck (152 lbs) placed second.
Clark Rogers went for 31-4, placing first in the 160 lbs class. He pinned Xavier Blake of U City in round one, pinned James Seitzer of Orchard Farm in round two, pinned John Burroughs wrestler Christos Antoniou in round three, pinned River Cliff of the Missouri Military Academy in round four and cemented his first-place spot with a pin over Kirksville’s Parker Laudwig in round five.
“Matthew’s come a long way,” coach Trevor Locke said. “He’s still a freshman and has a lot of room to improve, but I think he has a good shot at having a good district tournament and sneaking in and getting himself to the state tournament if he can wrestle well, and same with Austin Gross as well.”
The girls competition at Seckman saw Sage Wilder (126 lbs) place second and Deana Raasch (143 lbs) place fourth. Remi Taylor took first place in the 152 lbs class, pinning Sheri Owens (Rockwood Summit), Idiyauna Dozier (Eureka), Julianna Johnson (Hillsboro) and Emma Johns (Ste. Genevieve). Taylor only fell to Simone Pheonix of North Kansas City.
This time of year coaches typically need to watch for kids getting burnt or wore out by the tough wrestling season, but Locke said the snow days have actually worked in Winfield’s favor.
“Wrestling is a grueling, tough sport, it’s not for the light-hearted or the people who are just not willing to put in the work for it, so you fight that burnout and fatigue factor,” Locke said. “I think we’ve had it a little easier this year because we had that big string of snow days that didn’t allow us to practice, so that kind of gave everybody a physical and mental break right when they probably needed it the most.”
Complacency is another issue that needs to be watched. Kids can get in the rhythm of going through the motions during drilling, which had the potential to reinforce bad habits into the wrestlers. Pushing the students to get better with each repetition is the key to avoiding this, no matter what the exercise or drill is.
“Getting five concentrated, good reps in instead of going-through-the-motions reps,” Locke said.
The girls went to districts at Fort Zumwalt on Feb. 1-2, and the boys will wrestle Feb. 8-9 at Marshall Sr.