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Oakville sends four wrestlers to state; two Tiger grapplers claim district titles


February 16, 2005 - By STEPHEN GLOVER

For the Call

While its numbers may be small at this season's state championships, the Oakville Senior High wrestling team has the potential to pack a powerful punch.

The Tigers placed eighth of 13 teams at the Class 4 District 1 championships last weekend but qualified four wrestlers for the state tournament this weekend in Columbia.

Two Tiger grapplers won district championships in their respective weight classes, while one finished second after suffering a tough overtime loss and another placed third.

"We did a pretty good job at districts," Oakville head coach Tony Warren told the Call. "We had some matches that I felt got away from us, but we ended up qualifying four wrestlers and I think that all four have a legitimate chance of placing at state."

The Tiger's Matt Mitchell, with a 19-7 record, qualified for the state tournament at 145 pounds with a 7-2 decision in the district championship match over Lindbergh's Greg Feilner, 25-15. The senior grappler is ranked fifth in the state and is scheduled to open the state championships against Matt Lundergan, 13-14, of Francis Howell Central.

"Matt pretty well controlled the tournament," Warren said. "He was real consistent and wasn't really threatened at all."

Oakville senior Ryan Sutton, 37-3, qualified for state at 215 pounds, winning the district championship with a 3-2 decision over Andy Glass, 38-7, of Jackson. Sutton is ranked third in the state and drew Hazelwood West's Derance Thomas, 15-20, in the first round of the state tournament.

"Ryan wrestled well in the first two rounds," Warren said. "He really controlled the tempo and that's something he's going to have to carry over for this coming weekend."

Oakville junior Darren Green, 25-6, qualified for the state tournament at 119 pounds. Green lost a tough overtime battle to finish second at the district championships.

He is ranked seventh in the state and is slated to wrestle Kyle Caswell, 28-6, of Lee's Summit in the first round of the state tournament.

"We were on him about being more offensive in the semifinal," Warren ex-plained. "He didn't really utilize his offensive skills that we're so accustomed to seeing."

Also qualifying for the state tournament this week was junior Kyle Foley at 152 pounds, who took third place in districts with a 6-2 win over Lindbergh's Adam Bearden, 22-11. Foley, 30-9, is scheduled to open the state tournament against Cameron Harms, 23-1, of Blue Springs.

"Kyle's been wrestling really well and lost in the semifinal to Cody Rouse (of Marquette)," Warren said. "With what he's shown, he's got a shot to go down to state and medal."

The state wrestling tournament begins at 4 p.m. today — Feb. 17 — with the state championship matches scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday. All matches will be at the Hearnes Center on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus.

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