COLUMBIA, Mo. | Palmyra freshman Collin Arch came away with a state championship in the 120-pound weight class, joining his brother, junior Ross Arch, as a state champion.
“After this year, I hope the kids in the program realize how good they really are,” said Palmyra wrestling coach Josh Buatte. “If that happens, I think this program could do amazing things.”
Collin Arch defeated Centralia's Jesse Shannon in a 15-0 technical fall in the third period of their semifinal match. He then went on to defeat Gallatin's Ross Critten in a 12-2 major decision in the first place match.
“Collin winning the 120-pound weight class was a great feeling,” Buatte said. “I think the best is actually to come from Collin, he is an extremely hard worker that I don't see slowing down any time soon.”
Collin Arch finished the season with a perfect 47-0 record, including 27 pins.
Ross Arch entered the state tournament as the defending champion in the 145-pound weight class and has the distinction of being the first Palmyra wrestler to win a state title with his 2019 win.
This season, Ross Arch moved up to the 152-pound weight class and was able to advance to the championship match at state tournament. In the title match, Lexington's Tyson Moore was able to get a late takedown of Ross Arch to win a 5-4 decision.
Buatte said Ross Arch had one of the toughest brackets at the state tournament in the 152-pound weight class, which he finished second overall.
“He wrestled a good tournament, even though things didn't come out as planned,” Buatte said. “I know Ross will learn from his experience and become a better wrestler than he already is. Ross is an extremely hard worker, who is a great leader.”
Panthers 285-pound wrestler Weston King defeated Central's Herman Jackson in the quarterfinals and Adrain's Aaron Cochran in the semifinals, both by fall.
In the 285-pound final match, Macon's Caden Phillips defeated King in a 5-3 decision. King would finish second overall and won the silver medal.
“What can you say, Weston showed up and wrestled an amazing tournament,” Buatte said. “I really had no doubt that he could be there, it was just a question on if he believed he could be there, and the question was answered. Weston left everything he had out on the mat. I don't think Phillips from Macon has ever been pushed that hard and I don't think anyone else could have but Weston. As long as he stays healthy, I think a lot of heavyweights might be in trouble.”
Buatte said he was thankful of all the Palmyra fans that came to support the wrestling team at the state tournament in Columbia.
“The support that we received at the tournament was amazing,” Buatte said. “I think we had one of the biggest fan sections in our class at the tournament. I can't think Palmyra enough for the support they show.”