This past weekend 13 Linn County residents traveled to Mizzou Arena for the annual Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) State Wrestling Championships. A total of seven local grapplers came back home with medals this year.
At 106, Marceline's Dalton Fisher had an extremely successful tournament. Fisher opened with a pinfall win in 31 seconds. He followed this with a second pinfall in 4:43. Fisher advanced to the finals with a 4-2 decision. In the finals, Fisher came out of the tunnel and onto Mizzou Arena looking loose and ready to compete. The Marceline faithful occupied most of an upper ring of the arena, and were vocal throughout the bout. Fisher came close to a couple of pitfalls, but would win the State Championship with a 7-0 major decision. He ends his first campaign with a record of 45-2.
This win was historic for two reasons. The first being that Fisher is now the first freshman to win a State Championship in the long history of Black Rage wrestling. The second, is that Fisher is the first Champion in the tenure of Head Coach Josh Moore.
"It means a lot to me to win a state championship," said Fisher. "It feels good to have come down here and taking control of every match."
With a State Title as a freshman, Fisher has the rare chance to become a four-time Champion if he can win out for the remainder of his career.
"It's a thought but it's not something that's even here yet," admitted Fisher. "I just have to keep wrestling every year and keep trying to get better."
For Coach Moore, the future of Marceline wrestling with his young champion is indeed bright: "I'm so proud of him, he's a great kid. He puts in the time in practice, the hard work, and he's coachable."
At 113, Brookfield sent Matt Jackman to the floor of Mizzou Arena. Jackman lost in the opening round, but rebounded with a 17-6 major decision. Jackman would lose out in his next wrestleback, ending his season with a 23-20 as a freshman.
Brookfield's Garrett Zahner took third place at 120. Zahner started his tournament with a 10-0 major decision. He followed this with a close 6-4 decision win. In the semifinals, Zahner lost and headed to wrestlebacks. Zahner won his first wrestleback by a 7-5 decision. This sent him to the third place bout, where he won 4-0.
At 126, a pair of locals qualified but did not place. Marceline senior Kyle Bell lost his opening bout, but won his second match by a 3-1 decision. Bell would lose his next wrestleback to end his season with a 12-8 record.
Brookfield's Cody Niemeier would open with a pinfall win in 33 seconds. A second round loss sent him to wrestlebacks, where he would win by pinfall in 2:57. However, a loss in the next match would end his junior season with a record of 51-9.
Page 2 of 2 - Marceline senior Austin Moudy would take the mats locally at 132. Moudy opened with a loss, but would take a 4-3 decision in wrestlebacks. He followed this with a 7-4 decision win. A loss in his next match, though, ended his season with a 41-13 record.
Sophomore Anthony Cupp took the mats for Brookfield at 138. The elbow injury that hampered him at District Wrestling would come back to haunt him here, as during his first round loss, the injury would flare up causing him to default out of the tournament. Cupp ends his season with a 27-9 record.
Micah Blakely competed for Brookfield at 152 as a senior, and won his opening bout by pinfall in 49 seconds. He followed this with a 12-5 decision win. A loss in the semifinals would send Blakely to wrestlebacks, where he wold win by pinfall in 5:16 to obtain a shot at third place. In the third place match, Blakely would win another medal to round out his High School career. This win came by a 7-3 decision, ending his senior campaign with a record of 53-4.
Ramzie Cooper would have an amazing tournament, getting his first shot at a State Championship in the process. Cooper opened with a pinfall win in 2:31, followed this with a 5-2 decision win, and punched his ticket to the finals with a 4-3 decision win. In the Championship bout, Cooper had some trouble with his opponent, who was the defending State Runner-up. Cooper fought valiantly, coming up with reversals and escapes for nearly all of his opponents takedowns. But at the end of the bout, Cooper had lost the bout by a final score of 10-4. He ends his senior season with a record of 32-3.