COLUMBIA, Mo. | Eight Hannibal wrestlers competed in the MSHSAA State Wrestling Championships at Mizzou Arena over the weekend, with two wrestlers earning medals.
Pirates 160-pound sophomore Trevor Wilson won his quarterfinal match by a 9-1 decision and his semifinal match over Marshfield's Will Snider by a 4-0 decision in Friday' matches.
Wilson then wrestled Lebanon's Trevor Christian in the 160-pound state finals on Saturday. Christian would win a narrow 5-4 decision to win the state title, with Wilson finishing second in state.
“(Trevor's) opponent has been there before and was runner-up two years ago,” said Hannibal wrestling head coach Jake Borgmeyer. “I think (Christian) was a little more comfortable at the beginning of the match than we were and able to get to offense a little quicker than us. We was able to capitalize on that early and then we had a really good second period and a great third period. Ultimately, we ran out of time at the end before we could do a takewon and tie it up.”
Hannibal 152-pound junior Gavin Morawitz had gone 0-2 in two previous trips to the state tournament and was looking for redemption this year.
On Friday, Morawitz won his first round match and then his quarterfinal match in a 9-1 decision. Morawitz then fell to Pacific's Callum Sitek in a 8-4 decision in the semifinals.
“We are very proud of the way that he wrestled and the way he has competed all year,” Borgmeyer said. “This weekend, he was able to go out and get business done early. He got a great win in the first round of the state tournament. That set up for a very winnable quarterfinal match and he went out and took care of business, getting a medal. He ran into a tough kid from Pacific in the semis, he was just a very good wrestler, a two-time state runner-up, and we dropped the match.”
On Saturday, Morawitz won his wrestleback match in overtime and fell in the third-place match. He finished fourth in state and caps his junior year off with a 39-6 record.
Borgmeyer said Morawitz was his most improved wrestler this season.
“On the backside, we had a great win against a DeSoto kid in overtime,” Borgmeyer said. “Saturday morning is one of the toughest times to wrestle in the season, because you are coming off a loss. You already placed, it's just hard to get your body going and get your mind motivated to wrestle in the morning. Far him to come out and gut one out in overtime says a lot on how tough Gavin is and how much potential he has for the future.”
Pirates senior Jameson White earned his first career victory at the state tournament and finished 1-2 in the 195-pound weight class.
“I thought that was a really good way for him to end his career with us,” Borgmeyer said. “I know it's not exactly what he wanted, Everyone wants to perform better, but we are really proud of the way he wrestled at the end of the year. To get a win was huge for him.”
Hannibal's Tyler Hardy finished 1-2 at the state tournament in the 145-pound weight class.
Hardy took an unexpected path to the state tournament, considering he did not join the wrestling team until this year and had not wrestled in over five years.
“For him to come out to the state tournament and get a win and have a good shot of medaling, says a lot,” Borgmeyer said. “Hardy has been dealing with some illnesses for the past week and a half, and just kind of ran out of gas at the end of the tournament. Things didn't fall our way.”
Hannibal sophomore 106-pound wrestler Shawn Smashey finished 1-2 at the state tournament.
“He had another good tournament and another good end of the season, with a good district performance and wrestled real well at the state tournament,” Borgmeyer said. “He had two real tough kids in the quarterfinal match and on the backside.”
Matt Wilson (132 pounds), Kameron Foust (170 pounds) and Brady Zimmerman (220 pounds) all finished 0-2 at the state tournament.
Borgmeyer said his young team can build off their performance at the state tournament and get even better next season.
“We have one junior returning in Gavin, we have four sophomores that made the state tournament that are retuning and a freshman,” Borgmeyer said. “So that's six kids that have been there, have the experience and have had some success. With the incoming freshmen that we'll gain, things are definitely looking up and we are excited about that.”