Shorthanded McCluer North Finishes Fifth In All-Suburban Wrestling
By Jim Wieners
When McCluer North Head Wrestling Coach Jake Lapinski took his team to Hazelwood Central Jan. 4-5 with only 11 wrestlers instead of a full squad of 14 he was hoping that the best he could hope for is a top-10 finish in the 2013 St. Louis All Suburban Wrestling Championships.
Lapinski, apparently, did not expect a second-place finish from the Stars like last year. However a fifth-place finish overall in a 30-team tournament involving four suburban conferences of teams in St. Louis and Jefferson Counties last weekend “we must be doing something right.” Lapinski said. However he said being short-handed was not and excuse and none of the Suburban North Conference teams had full squads.
McCluer North was the highest finishing Suburban North Conference team as the Stars scored 140.5 points. And they were one of five teams to take home trophies for finishing in the top five. It was the third year for the All Suburban Wrestling Championships and for the third year Seckman, one of three Jefferson County teams in the tourney, won the tournament by scoring 227 points and won the most individual titles (four). Lafayette, with the most individual medals (nine), was second with 181, Northwest (Cedar Hill), another Jefferson County school, was the only other school with multiple individual winners (three) on their way to a third-place finish (177) while Eureka was fourth with 168.
McCluer North did not have any wrestlers at 106, 160 and 220 pounds but six of the 11 competing wrestlers took home medals. Senior Josh Wheeler was McCluer North’s only winner as he won the 182-pound champion thanks to a late third-period rally to pull off an 8-5 decision over Hazelwood East senior Jeff Brock. Junior Teron Woodson was second to Northwest freshman Ben Stahlman at 113 as Stahlman pinned Woodson at 3:24.
Senior Randall Young took third at 285, junior Anthony Nichols took fifth at 138 while senior Gary Duvall (126) and junior Gary Washington (170) each finished sixth.
HAZELWOOD CENTRAL also competed with 11 wrestlers so the Hawks and McCluer North had the most wrestlers of any Suburban North team. The host Hawks finished sixth with 135 points and was four and a half points shy of getting a trophy. Central also won six individual medals with junior Khail Jamison leading the way with a second place finish at 170, losing a 7-1 decision to Rockwood-Summit senior Ian Macintosh.
Senior Isaiah Cooper took third at 195, sophomore Jain Gomilla (113) and junior Brittan McLaughlin (220) each finished fourth while sophomore T.J. Daniels (106) and senior Joe Shell (138) each finished sixth.
HAZELWOOD EAST had only nine wrestlers competing last weekend at Hazelwood Central and East, with four medals, shared ninth place (97.5) with Oakville. Brock was the only championship match participant and lost late in the match to Wheeler at 182. Junior Jerry Stepps secured a third-place finish at 113 with a pin at 4:31 over Gomilla; senior Lance Bush was fourth at 285 while junior Jeron Steward was sixth at 195.
McCLUER competed with 10 wrestlers and finished in a three-way tie with McCluer South-Berkeley and Rockwood Summit for 15th place, each scoring 68. The Comets had three medallists led by senior Diontay Hatch, who advanced to the 220-pound championship match before losing to Northwest senior Devin Cagle on a late pin at 5:40. Senior Marvin Nelson was fourth at 120 while junior Alex Willis was sixth at 152.
McCLUER SOUTH-BERKELEY competed with nine wrestlers and took home only two medals. Junior John Williams advanced to the 132-pound championship match before losing 9-4 to Seckman junior Brock Wingbermuehle. Damien Bell took sixth at 285.
HAZELWOOD WEST had only five wrestlers but took home no medals and finished with 13 points for 27th place. RIVERVIEW GARDENS had only seven wrestlers but took home no medals.
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