Three members of the Hannibal High School wrestling team brought home medals from the Class 3 state wrestling tournament in Columbia.

Three members of the Hannibal High School wrestling team brought home medals from the Class 3 state wrestling tournament in Columbia.

Placing fourth in their respective weight classes for Hannibal were 132-pounder Tyler Leonard and 152-pounder Garrett Ruby. Capturing sixth place in the 160-pound weight class was Trevor Wilson.

HHS coach Derek Greening applauded Tyler Leonard's performance.

"Tyler wrestled a great tournament and improved on his finish last year," he said. "In the quarterfinal round Tyler beat a three-time state placer and a two-time returning state finalist. That kid ended up not even placing in Tyler's bracket this year. That shows the depth of kids at that weight. Tyler had a great sophomore season and will continue to work hard to prepare for next season."

Ruby turned in a strong tournament, according to Greening.

"Garrett wrestled extremely well this weekend," he said. "Garrett basically lost all of last year to a knee injury. He was a state qualifier as a freshman with one match of the tournament. It was a great improvement on his finish from his freshman year."

As for Wilson, Greening said he accomplished something few freshmen do.

"Trevor had a great tournament," he said. "Obviously anytime you can place as a freshman, especially in a bigger weight class, it speaks highly of your ability."

Tyler Leonard and Ruby were 3-2 during the tournament while Wilson finished with a 3-3 record.

Hannibal's other state qualifiers were: Gavin Morawitz, 138 pounds, 0-2; Tanner Leonard, 145 pounds, 1-2; Vernell Hawkins, 170 pounds, 2-2; Chase Kirby, 220 pounds, 1-2.

"Gavin lost to the eventual state champion in his bracket the first round and then wrestled a close match in his second, but just came up short. Even though he did not win a match he gave great effort," Greening said. "Even though Tanner did not place the two people he lost to were placers. Tanner had a little bit of the freshman nerves in round one but still wrestled a close match. He came back in round two and completely dominated his opponent before being put out of the tournament in round three by the kid that took fourth in his bracket.

"Even though Vernell did not place he improved tremendously this year. Last year he went 0-2 at the state tournament. This year he won twice and both of them were by pins. Vernell's two losses were to kids that placed in the tournament. We are very proud of how much he has improved this year," added Greening. "Chase also had a great senior season that just did not end the way he wanted it to. However, Chase improved quite a bit this year in all positions on the wrestling mat. He was also a very strong leader for us all year."

As a team, Hannibal finished with 44 1/2 points, which was good for 14th place. Neosho took home the team title in Class 3 with 141 1/2 points. Kearney was a close second at 137 1/2 points.

 

danny.henley@courierpost.com