Young Oakville High School wrestling teamhoping to grapple with success this season
Long before the Oakville Senior High School Tigers hit the road for the Jefferson City Duals last weekend, their head coach told the Call that they were simply not a great dual-meet wrestling team.
With seven very raw grapplers and seven experienced members of the team, it's very difficult to excel in dual meets or dual style tournaments, he explained.
He was right.
Despite excellent efforts from several Oakville High wrestlers, the team as a whole was not able to win any of its duals against Jefferson City Helias, Granite City, Jackson, Ste. Genevieve, Neosho or Raytown South.
That didn't mean all was lost, though, as Coach Tim Vogel pointed out the positive things he saw.
"I was pleased with how we wrestled Granite City, because we gave them their toughest dual," he said. "And we had some very good individual performances, too."
The weekend's best performance belonged to 189-pounder Ryan Sutton, who was 6-0 on the weekend and did not allow even one takedown in his six matches.
Meanwhile, Eric Schmidt (160) and Nick Wymore (heavyweight) both went 5-1 and Matt Mitchell (145), Kyle Foley (140) and Darren Green (103) all went 4-2. At the 152-pound class, Jesse Gunderson also enjoyed some success as he went 3-3.
With half of the squad very experienced and the other half quite the opposite, Vogel has acknowledged things could be tough in duals this year, but is looking forward to next weekend's tournament at Lee's Summit.
"This is probably the toughest tournament in the state this year," Vogel told the Call. "There are 20 teams total, and they are coming from all over — from a lot of states."
The Tigers also are in a position to have several wrestlers gain valuable experience against the talented teams in this tournament, and Vogel hopes they can bring home some winners.
"If we come home with five medals, I'd be happy," he said.
Before heading to Lee's Summit over the weekend, the Tigers were scheduled to wrestle Mehlville on Tuesday evening — after the Call went to press. The Lee's Summit tournament starts on Friday evening and runs through Saturday.