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2017-18 high school wrestling preview

By: Warren Mayes


Whitfield is locked and loaded.

The defending Class 1 state champions have three state champions back and as well many others to make the Warriors a force to be reckoned with. Whitfield’s schedule includes big tournaments against much larger schools.

Coach Charlie Scherertz would want it no other way.

Senior Mike McAteer will attempt to become Whitfield’s second four-time state champion. Rodney Hahn, who is at the Naval Academy, is the other Warrior to accomplish the feat. McAteer has won at 106, 113 and 120. This season, he will compete at 126.

CBC finished second in Class 4. The Cadets have three seniors who have signed letters to wrestle in college in Malik Johnson, DJ Shannon and Cevion Severado.

Johnson and Shannon each won state championships last year. Like McAteer, Johnson will be attempting to win his fourth consecutive state championship this season.

Lafayette finished fourth as a team in Class 4 last winter. Coach Jonathan Sumner has 10 returning wrestlers including five state qualifiers this season, making the Lancers a team to watch.

Chaminade’s Danny Conley made school history last season by becoming the school’s first state champion. Before he leaves for Columbia University, Conley will attempt to repeat his feat.

There are two new coaches this season. De Smet Jesuit has Aedryan Cox as its new coach. Parkway Central will be led by Lee Brown.

Here is a look at the area’s teams that responded to requests for information.

CBC CADETS

2016-17 record: Finished second in Class 4 state meet.

Coach: Cornell Robinson, entering fourth year as head coach.

Returning: 4 state qualifiers

Wrestlers signed or committed to a college: Malik Johnson to Missouri, Cevion Severado to Missouri, and DJ Shannon to West Virginia

Team captains: Cole Stormsdorfer

Wrestlers to watch for this winter: Malik Johnson, DJ Shannon, Cevion Severado, Kyle Prewitt and Josh Saunders

Newcomers expected to contribute: Vinny Zerban

Goals: To become a complete team and do the small things right.

Metro Catholic Conference teams: CBC, Chaminade, De Smet Jesuit, St. Louis University High and Vianney

Favorites to win the conference: Chaminade and De Smet Jesuit

Class 4, District 1 teams: CBC, Eureka, Fox, Jackson, Kirkwood, Lafayette, Marquette, Northwest, Oakville, Parkway South, Poplar Bluff, Seckman, St. Louis University High and Vianney

Final thought: “Our district is pretty tough,” Robinson said. “I want to make sure our guys are ready and prepared and excited to compete. The districts are just a stepping stone to get what you want.”

CHAMINADE RED DEVILS

2016-17 record: 7-15. Finished in 22nd place at Class 4 state meet. Danny Conley won state at 220.

Coach: Todd Schumacher, entering third year as head coach.

Returning: 5 wrestlers, 2 state qualifiers

Wrestlers signed to a college: Danny Conley to Columbia University

Team captains: Seniors Danny Conley and Brad Sanchez

Wrestlers to watch for this winter: Sam Schultz at 120, Brad Sanchez at 126, Alex Hart at 152 and Danny Conley at 220

Goals: Have four state qualifiers and two state medalists.

Metro Catholic Conference teams: CBC, Chaminade, De Smet Jesuit, St. Louis University High and  Vianney.

Favorites to win the conference: CBC

Class 4, District 2 teams: Chaminade, De Smet Jesuit, Francis Howell, Francis Howell Central, Francis Howell North, Fort Zumwalt North, Fort Zumwalt West, Hazelwood Central, Hazelwood West, Holt, McCluer North, Pattonville, Ritenour, Timberland and Troy Buchanan

Final thought: “We’re looking to build off last year’s postseason success; especially having our first state champion in program history in Danny Conley at 220,” Schumacher said. “Our small core of returners are extremely tough and committed to achieving lofty goals. We revamped our schedule this season to add tougher opponents, including the Granite City Tournament, which is one of the best tournaments in the bi-state area. I’d like to see us get four to the state tournament with all of them having a chance at medaling. Certainly Danny will be in position to earn a second state title, which would be an big landmark for our program.”

DE SMET JESUIT SPARTANS

2016-17 record: 9-5 in duals. Had one state qualifier, and finalist, in Cory Peterson, who finished second last year.

Coach: Aedryan Cox, entering first year as head coach at De Smet Jesuit.

Assistant coaches: Anton Prater, Dan Lovelace, David Evans and  Joe Pelkey

Wrestlers signed or committed to a college: None

Team captains: Colin Beveridge, Cory Peterson and Eric Lovelace

Wrestlers to watch for this winter: Eric Lovelace at 113 and  Cory Peterson at 160

Newcomers expected to contribute: Colton King at 106 and Jacobi Jackson at 285

Goals: Win the MCC. Finish top three at districts. Have five state qualifiers.

Metro Catholic Conference teams: CBC, Chaminade, De Smet Jesuit, St. Louis University High and Vianney

Favorites to win the conference: CBC

Class 4, District 2 teams: Chaminade, De Smet Jesuit, Francis Howell, Francis Howell Central, Francis Howell North, Fort Zumwalt North, Fort Zumwalt West, Hazelwood Central, Hazelwood West, Holt, McCluer North, Pattonville, Ritenour, Timberland and  Troy Buchanan

Final thought: “I feel extremely humbled to walk into a growing program, where the kids and coached are dedicated to moving forward,” Cox said. “We have had some success in our season early on, with a second-place finish at the Westminster tourney, and I think that you guys are beginning to believe in themselves. I expect to have a fantastic year, and we plan on surprising teams and getting better every step of the way.”

EUREKA WILDCATS

2016-17 record: 20-8 in duals. At the district tournament, qualified six for the state Tournament with three of them reaching the finals with one second and two placing first. Finished seventh as a team in the Class 4 field of 52 teams.

Coach: Mark Gentry, entering third year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Jesse Zeugin, Pete Grace, Tim Yancey and Tyler Wassson

Returning: 4 quailfiers

Wrestlers signed to a college: Kyle Dickhaus with Lindenwood University

Team captains: Could be anyone from week to week.

Wrestlers to watch for this winter: We have several wrestlers to watch this year. In a senior dominated line-up keep your eye on our returning state champion Kyle Dickhaus as well as Ryan Lester, Matt Gentry, Brendan Carter, Parker Nelson, Jack Sauter, Jordan Shirley, Kurtis Winegardner, Myles Ragsdale and Jake Wuelling. They, along with our juniors and sophomores logged tons of mat time during our Freestyle and Greco season as well at the National Disney Duals where several were involved in All American Team and Individual honors.

Goals: Our goal is always to win everything. To do so we need to excel at doing the small things right. Relentless pursuit of good position is key to winning matches and our daily drills and matches are designed to create that habit in our wrestlers.

Suburban West Conference teams: Eureka, Fox, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Mehlville, Northwest, Oakville, Parkway South and Seckman

Favorites to win conference: Any one of the teams in our conference and district is a threat to win.

Class 4, District 1 teams: CBC, Eureka, Fox, Jackson, Kirkwood, Lafayette, Marquette, Northwest, Oakville, Parkway South, Poplar Bluff, Seckman, St. Louis University High and  Vianney.

Final thought: “Class 4 District 1 continues to be a very dominant. Last season six of the top 10 teams in the state came from our district,” Gentry said. “St. Louis area wrestlers have really stepped their spring and summer season training. CBC and Lafayette remain the teams to beat. We are looking forward to reaping the rewards of our off season work. This group of wrestlers has been together for a long time and their commitment to each other makes them fun to bearound. They work hard to raise their own level of performance but more importantly they work hard to elevate the level of the room. Watch them at meets and you’ll see them hanging on every minute of each other’s matches. They are the definition of team.”

LAFAYETTE LANCERS

2016-17 record: Went 19-2 in duals last year. Undefeated in conference duals. Were All Suburban Conference Tournament Champs. Placed second in districts. Fourth in Class 4 state meet as a team. Had eight state qualifiers, and 6 of them became state medalists. The other two lost in the bubble round at the state tournament, which would make them top 8 in the state. Senior Austin Stofer finished second place as the highest of the six state medalists. Coach: Jonathan Sumner. Entering seventh year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Adam Hicks, Joe Wier, Brian Sanguinet, Wade Pinkston, Alex Perry, Justin Bottorff, Jason Mirikitani, Clayton Wegener, Adam Varner and Brandon Lococo

Returning : 10 wrestlers. 5 state medalists in Jayden Carson (6th at 106), Jaylen Carson (3rd at 113), Cameron Wegener (4th at 132) , Anthony Michaels (6th at 145), and Cortez Woods (4th at220), along with returning state qualifier Austin Wegener. We also return additional starters from last year’s team in Desean Reese, Aaron Toben and Jake Malven.

Wrestlers signed or committed to a college: None

Team captains: Anthony Michaels, Jake Malven and Cameron Wegener

Wrestlers to watch for this winter: We return quite a few state medalists and many others from last year that were a part of last year’s state plaque team. All of them had a great off season and are hungry for more this year.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Seniors Andrew Duke and Gaelyn Nooner should be fun to watch this year. Sophomore class has quite a few kids that will contribute this year as well in Carson Boren, Jalin Reese, Henry Thomas, Jonah Robinson and Anthony McRoberts.

Goals: Be conference champs, district champs and earn a top 3 finish at the state tournament. Individually, qualify as many kids for the state tournament as we can and medal as many as we can.

Suburban West Conference teams: Eureka, Fox, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Mehlville, Northwest, Oakville, Parkway South and Seckman

Favorites to win the conference: Seckman, Eureka and Northwest will all be tough this year. Lafayette should be in the mix as well.

Class 4, District 1 teams: CBC, Eureka, Fox, Jackson, Kirkwood, Lafayette, Marquette, Northwest, Oakville, Parkway South, Poplar Bluff, Seckman, St. Louis University High and Vianney

Final thought: “This team returns a great core of good kids that work hard. If we can get healthy and stay healthy we think it will be fun year for the Lancers,” Sumner said. “Our kids have put a lot of time in this off season and many of them got a taste of success last year in Columbia and are hungry for more this year. Our coaches are excited to see our kids compete and see the results of their hard work.”

MARQUETTE MUSTANGS

2016-17 record: Jack Lenox finished fourth in Class 4 113-pound class.

Coach: Jake Dieffenbach, entering fifth year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Josh Hansel, Sean Torgoley, Grady Donahoe and Jeff Bramer

Returning: 6 wrestlers, 2 state qualifiers

Wrestlers signed or committed to a college: None

Team captains: Jack Lenox, Jalen Gayfield, Christian Milla and Marco Perla

Wrestlers to watch for this winter: Jack Lenox is a two-time state medalist looking to improve on his fourth-place finish at state last year. Jalen Gayfield has an excellent chance to place high at the state tournament as well after qualifying last year.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Sophomore Arneze Rush is going to be big addition to the team as well as freshmen Alex Nicozisin and Aidan Rudman, who both had very successful little league careers.

Goals: Our goals are to place in the top half of every tournament and to have at least 5 state qualifiers.

Suburban West Conference teams: Eureka, Fox, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Mehlville, Northwest, Oakville, Parkway South and Seckman

Favorites to win the conference: Lafayette is the frontrunner followed by Northwest and Seckman.

Class 4, District 1 teams: CBC, Eureka, Fox, Jackson, Kirkwood, Lafayette, Marquette, Northwest, Oakville, Parkway South, Poplar Bluff, Seckman, St. Louis University High and Vianney

Final thought: “This is the most talented team that I have had the opportunity to coach while at Marquette,” Dieffenbach said. “We are young, with only three seniors in the varsity lineup, but we have a lot of guys that can compete at a high level. There is going to be a learning curve there but I’m excited to watch this group grow as a team together. Jack Lenox will be chasing a state title this year and it will be up to him to take that next step. It should be exciting to watch.”

PARKWAY CENTRAL COLTS

Coach: Lee Brown, entering first year as head coach at Parkway Central.

Assistant coaches: To be announced.

Returning number of state qualifiers: None

Wrestlers signed or committed to a college: None

Team captains: John Kim and Aaron Ginsparg

Wrestlers to watch for this winter: Seniors John Kim at 138 and Aaron Ginsparg at 152, sophomore Tariq Ahmad

Newcomers expected to contribute: Umar Yuldoshev and Chyngyz Kalybek

Suburban Central Conference teams: Affton, Clayton, Jennings,Ladue, Maplewood, McCluer South Berkeley, Normandy,Parkway West and Parkway Central and University City

Class 3, District 2 teams: Clayton, Fort Zumwalt East, Fort Zumwalt South, Hannibal, Hazelwood East, Ladue, Liberty, McCluer, MICDS, Parkway Central, Parkway North, Parkway West, St. Charles, University City, Warrenton and Westminster Christian Academy

PARKWAY SOUTH PATRIOTS

2016-17 record: 9-5 in duals. Finished 12th as team at state in Class 4. Garret Kloeppel was second in 126-pound class.

Coach: Jim Lake, entering eighth year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Nick LoBosco, Brian Bage, Korey Eggleston, and the legendary Tom Dailey

Returning: 8 varsity lettermen, 1 state runnerup

Wrestlers signed or committed to a college: None

Team captains: Yet to be determined.

Goals: To compete to the best of our ability every time we take the mat and to raise the bar on ourselves with each competition.

Suburban West Conference teams: Eureka, Fox, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Mehlville, Northwest, Oakville, Parkway South and Seckman

Favorites to win the conference: Lafayette

Class 4, District 1 teams: CBC, Eureka, Fox, Jackson, Kirkwood, Lafayette, Marquette, Northwest, Oakville, Parkway South, Poplar Bluff, Seckman, St. Louis University High and  Vianney

Final thought: “As a returning state runner-up, Garret Kloeppel is teamed with a hand full of seniors and juniors with varsity experience that just missed qualifying for state last year,” Lake said. “This is really a group that believes they have something to prove this season. I can’t wait to see how this chapter is written.”

PARKWAY WEST LONGHORNS

2016-17 record: 12-7 in duals.

Coach: Zeke Allison, entering second year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Chip Allison and Jeff Schlote

Returning: 8 wrestlers, 2 state qualifiers

Wrestlers signed or committed to a college: None

Team captains: Seniors Atajio Ivy and Josh McCallister

Wrestlers to watch for this winter: Senior Josh McCallister at 126 and senior Atajio Ivy at 120

Newcomers expected to contribute: Junior Jackson Barnhart at 182

Goals: One of our goals as a team is to beat dual record from last year. Other goals are to win the conference title and to take more wrestlers to state this year.

Suburban Central Conference teams: Affton, Clayton, Jennings,Ladue, Maplewood, McCluer South-Berkeley, Normandy,Parkway West and Parkway Central and  University City

Favorites to win the conference: Ladue

Class 3, District 2 teams: Clayton, Fort Zumwalt East, Fort Zumwalt South, Hannibal, Hazelwood East, Ladue, Liberty, McCluer, MICDS, Parkway Central, Parkway North, Parkway West, St. Charles, University City, Warrenton and Westminster Christian Academy

Final thought: “I am very excited to start my second year as the head coach of Parkway West High School,” Allison said. “We doubled the size of our team from last year, and for the first time in a long time can put a full lineup out on the mat. We have a lot of returners and a lot of new faces to our program. We are a very young team still and will be led by our seniors.”

PRIORY REBELS

2016-17 record: 10-6 in duals, Metro League champions.

Coach: Steve Rolwes, entering 10th year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Christian Buchanan and Steve Ryan

Returning: 15 wrestlers plus 7 new freshmen; one state qualifier.

Wrestlers signed or committed to a college: None

Team captain: Greg Rolwes

Wrestlers to watch for this winter: Senior Greg Rolwes, the returning state place winner

Newcomers expected to contribute: We have a lot of young guys getting their first real full season as varsity wrestlers who look to contribute.

Goals: Be competitive in our league tournament, and qualify three or more wrestlers for state

Metro League teams: Lutheran North, Lutheran South, John Burroughs, MICDS, Principia, Priory and Westminster Christian Academy

Favorites to win the conference: Principia has a lot of returning starters and should be very competitive this year. Westminster and John Burroughs are always well coached, and Lutheran South has been improving every year.

Class 2, District 2 teams: Fulton, John Burroughs, Kirksville, McCluer South Berkeley, Mexico, Miller Career Academy, Missouri Military Academy, Moberly, Normandy, Orchard Farm, Priory, Soldan and Winfield

Final thought: We graduated four senior last year, but we had a lot of guys put in work in the offseason and they are excited to get the season started,” Rolwes said. “I am not sure I have ever seen this level of commitment from my team so I am truly looking forward to how the season will go. We have a lot of guys who want to do well and are putting in the work to do so. There is definitely a desire to continue last season’s success, but we will have our bumps along the way as it is a learning process for everyone. Overall we are looking forward to another fun year.”

WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN ACADEMY WILDCATS

Coach: Tim Muehleisen, entering his 19th year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Mark Muehleisen, Nate Thobaben.

Returning: 10 wrestlers, 2 state qualifiers

Wrestlers signed or committed to a college: None

Team captains: Charlie McCracken

Wrestlers to watch for this winter: Charlie McCracken at 220 and Patrick Andrews at 195

Newcomers expected to contribute: Clayton Perona at 126, Kirk Briden at 120 and Brett St. John at 132

Metro League teams: Lutheran North, Lutheran South, John Burroughs, MICDS, Principia, Priory and Westminster Christian Academy

Favorites to win the conference: Priory returns the best team. Will see how the season shakes out.

Class 3, District 2 teams: Clayton, Fort Zumwalt East, Fort Zumwalt South, Hannibal, Hazelwood East, Ladue, Liberty, McCluer, MICDS, Parkway Central, Parkway North, Parkway West, St. Charles, University City, Warrenton and Westminster Christian Academy

Final thought: “I’m excited to have another group of kids to work with,” Muehleisen said. “We really try to have fun with what we are doing and hopefully the kids get a great experience out of it. We are very young this year which means we’re teaching wrestling every day. We’ll see how well they learn and develop this year. They are a good bunch and should grow well.”

WHITFIELD WARRIORS

2016-17 record: Won the Mount Olive Invitational, Eric Lewis Invitational, Francis Howell Tournament. Finished second in 43rd annual Ron Sauer Duals. Fourth in William ‘Red’ Schmitt Holiday Invitational. Won Class 1 state championship for the sixth championship in Whitfield history. Had two individual state champions.

Coach: Charlie Sherertz, entering 22nd year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Buddy Smith, Matt Politte and Peter Switzer

Returning: 12 wrestlers, 11 state qualifiers

Wrestlers signed or committed to a college: Max Darrah and Mike McAteer both to Army

Team captains: Not named yet.

Wrestlers to watch for this winter: Senior Mike McAteer, who earned his third state championship at 120 pounds, will be at 126. Senior Max Darrah won his second state last year at 285 and may go down to 220 this season. Junior Zac Russell, who lost in the 160 final last year, will move to 170. Sophomore Connor McAteer was third at 106 and will move to 113. Senior Noah Elmore was third at 182 and will stay at 182. Senior William Boldt was third at 195 and will stay at 195. Junior Wade Raeman, who was fourth last season, will be back at at 113. Senior JR Ditter, who won state as a freshman, will be at at 132.

Newcomers expected to contribute: As always, Sherertz said “they have to make their own noise.”

Goals: Break as many state records as possible on way to winning the state tournament.

Conference: Independent

Class 1, District 1 teams: Brentwood, Central (New Madrid County), Cleveland NJROTC, Gateway Science Academy, Hancock, Lutheran North, Lutheran St. Charles, Maplewood, Missouri School for the Blind, Palmyra, Principia, Sumner, Valle Catholic and Whitfield

Final thought: “We have an extremely talented group,” Scherertz said. “Our goal is clear. I’m excited to see how it turns out. Can they live up to the billing? They will have to train for it. Prepare for it and they have to want it. We’ll find out.”

 

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