The Lafayette Lancers checked off one of its goals for the wrestling season in a big way by winning the Francis Howell North tournament.
The Lancers won the recent round-robin tournament with 274 points and improved 7-0 in dual meets this season. Jackson was second with 257 points
“The tournament had seven teamsand was a normal sized one-day event,” Lafayette coach Joe Wier said. “Powerhouses Jackson and Francis Howell were there along with McCluer North, Rockwood Summit, Troy, and Francis Howell North.
“One of our team goals this year is to win at least four team tournaments so going in we know we had a chance to pull off the title if we wrestled to our abilities. Jackson and Howell are perennial powers in wrestling so we knew we had to bring our ‘A’ game to finish on top.”
This was Lafayette’s first year in this event. This was a round robin tournament so the boys all faced three to five opponents so there was no traditional finals match as a wrestler had to beat every other team in order to place first.
The Lancers had four individual champions.
Junior state qualifier Jalin Reese went 4-0. He won every match with a pin,
Senior state medalist Jayden Carson, currently ranked second in the state at 113 pounds, defeated Francis Howell’s Eric Lovelace, who is currently ranked fifth at 106 pounds, and Alec Bailey. who is ranked sixth at 106 pounds.
The preseason rankings are according to missouriwrestling.com.
Senior Jaylen Carson, who is currently ranked fourth at 120 pounds, went 5-0 in the tourney. He won with five pins to place first.
Senior Austin Wegener, who is ranked second at 195 pounds went 5-0 to place first in his weight class.
“It is early season but our conditioning and technique looked solid throughout the event,” Wier said. “The strong senior leadership of this team coupled with the hunger to compete and win will give us the edge this season.”
Wier used three freshman wrestlers in the varsity 14-man lineup for the tournament. They all three placed second in the event. They were Alex Doehring at 106 pounds, Emir Chondronov at 138 and Tommy Hagan at 170.
“These three are all multi-sport athletes,” Wier said.
The three all played a fall sport at Lafayette. Doehring runs cross country. Chondronov plays soccer and Hagan plays football.
His team was happy to win the event, Wier said.
“Our team was excited to get the plaque and checked it off as one of our goals of the season accomplished,” Wier said. “We have a long way to go and we will keep following our theme for the year which is simply ‘Step Up’ for each practice, each meet, each tournament and every day.
“This type of success on a team basis will validate all of the long hours, morning practices, and offseason training that we do. This also shows that we are competing well with some of the best teams in the area.”
The underclassmen also did well at the tournament, Wier said. “The JV Team won with the freshman and sophomore classes going 4-0-1 to place first.