Dragon Wrestlers Return from Columbia with Two State Champions

Very early Sunday morning the Cameron Dragon Wrestling Team made the return trip home to Cameron from Columbia. Not everyone slept on this midnight trek, as the adrenaline was still flowing from a pair of amazing matches in the state finals and the team’s outstanding fifth place finish at the state wrestling tournament. Nine Dragons participated in the grueling three-day tournament and five individuals earned all-state honors. Thursday morning began with opening ceremonies and was followed by first round match-ups and first round wrestle-backs. Freshman Caleb Worland-120 lbs., junior Jon Stevenson-132 lbs., junior Josh Stevenson-138 lbs., and senior Steven Walser-145 lbs. were all eliminated from state tournament competition. Senior Sawyer Day-106 lbs., senior Chase Foreman-126 lbs., senior Caleb Shanks-182 lbs., senior Dawson Cox-195 lbs., and junior Joe Bryant-285 lbs. all won their first round matches and advanced to the right in their respective brackets. Friday morning began with quarterfinal matches, followed by a second round of elimination wrestle-back matches. Day, Foreman, and Shanks all would win and advance on to the semifinals Friday evening where they would guarantee themselves a state medal. Cox and Bryant lost by decisions to the eventual state runner-ups in their weight classes and faced second round wrestle-backs. Both of the young men would be victorious during those wrestle-backs and move onto the Friday evening “blood-rounds”. Friday evening features one of the most intense rounds of wrestling at the state tournament! Semifinal matches and the final elimination wrestle-back matches are simultaneously wrestled on multiple mats for all classes. Semifinal winners advance on to the state finals and wrestle-back winners secure state medals. Dreams are crushed and hearts break as wrestle-back losers are eliminated from the state tournament. The arena is always packed with spectators where you can feel the tension and excitement in the air! Day would lose his semifinal bout by fall to the eventual state champion. Both Foreman and Shanks would win and advance on to compete for a state championship Saturday evening; Foreman with a 7-3 decision from Sr. Brandon Dews of Fulton and Shanks by a 9-0 major decision against Jeremiah Glise of Savannah. During the “blood-matches”, Cox won a 3-2 decision from So. Colton Gillespie of Kirksville and Bryant pinned Sr. Jamie Aleshire of Moberly to advance on and secure their spots on the state podiums. Saturday morning Day, Cox, and Bryant all lost their consolation semi-final matches, pushing the three into the 5th-6th place medal bouts. During the medal round, Cox earned a 6-4 decision from Sr. Trenton Kidwell of Eldon and Bryant won a 12-0 major decision versus Sr. Matthew Dean from Central Park Hills High School near St. Louis to earn 5th place medals. Day lost a heartbreaking overtime match to Fr. Dalton Thompson of St. Clair. Saturday evening the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) showcases the state championship bouts by weight class for all classes concurrently on four mats in the center of Mizzou Arena. Several faithful Dragon family members and wrestling fans made their way to Columbia to witness these two young men compete for the ultimate high school wrestling prize. A Dragon wrestler has not won a state championship since 2012, when then freshman Trevor Burkhart won one at 106 lbs. Smoke, music, glowsticks, and cheers filled the arena with anticipation of the championship bouts! Foreman would take the mat first versus Sr. Tanner Pavlica (37-8) from Oak Grove High School. Foreman executed his game plan perfectly and won a 15-9 decision to become Cameron High School Wrestling’s 13th individual State Champion. Shanks would compete against previously undefeated Jr. Ben Turnbough (40-1) from Potosi. Shanks earned a hard-fought 5-4 decision with a third period takedown to become the Dragon Wrestling Program’s 14th individual State Champion. Foreman finishes his senior season with a 51-3 record. Foreman is a three-time state qualifier, two-time state medalist, and will conclude his high school career number four all-time with 158 career wins as a Dragon Wrestler. Foreman added he has learned that “you should always believe in yourself!” Shanks finishes his senior year with a 56-1 record. Shanks is a four-time state qualifier, three-time state medalist, and concluded his high school career number two all-time with 181 career wins in a Dragon singlet. Shanks broke the single season wins record and single season pins record (41) this season. It is also noteworthy that Shanks gave up only 12 offensive points to his opponents all season long! Shanks added that “it felt so good to conclude the season with a high school state championship!” Head Coach Phillip Limb summed up the 2016-2017 season with the following: “All year long this team and group of wrestlers were underestimated and counted out. This weekend was another reason how they have proven people wrong. The state tournament is the pinnacle of our sport in Missouri and our wrestlers represented well. Five wrestlers earning medals is a great accomplishment for the team. We had a goal in mind of winning a state trophy, as we always do, but finishing fifth was a successful year! A wrestler ultimately desires to become a state champion, and having two in one year couldn't make me more proud. I told Caleb and Chase on Sunday morning that they woke up state champions and always will. It is something that will be with them forever.”

My Cameron News

BB Highway
P.O. Box 498
Cameron, MO 64429
PHONE: (816) 632-6543
FAX: (816) 632-4508
Email: editor@mycameronnews.com
 

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