Young CHS wrestling Hornets further their education in tough tourney

Led Slattery's 3-2 day at 182 pounds and Rader's 2-2-1 showing in rugged 113-pounds weight class, go 1-4 in duals against top-quality teams at Moberly Saturday

As reported to C-T
Chillicothe High School wrestling Hornets senior Sheldon Rader looks up at the referee as he has a hold on Bolivar’s Canyon Cunningham in a clash of 2020 Class 2 state tournament 106-pounds medalists during Saturday’s Spartan Duals tournament at Moberly. Cunningham, who took third at state last February, posted a 13-5 major decision over Rader, who placed sixth at state last year. Including one win by forfeit, the Hornet went 3-2 on the weekend and is now one win away from 100 for his varsity career.

MOBERLY — The young Chillicothe High School wrestling team figured to be in for a rough, tough day Saturday with the opponents they drew for their five dual matches in the Spartan Duals tournament.

It proved to be every bit of that, but head coach Chad Smith also anticipates it to have been educational, too.

Winning one of five matches, the Hornets saw their season record for dual matches dip to 7-5 in their final pre-holidays outing.

CHS defeated St. James 60-15 and lost to host Moberly 47-23, to Jefferson City: Helias 54-27, to Bolivar 65-12, and to Pleasant Hill 64-12.

“We faced some of the best teams in Missouri,” Smith reviewed. “It was good for our young team to see how tough the top level teams are and what it takes to be up on their level. This group has the potential to do that in the next couple years.

“Don’t let the scores fool you; we were very competitive in a lot of (bouts).”

Against the stiff competition, one Hornet – making his season debut, no less – finished above .500 and two Chillicothe wrestlers managed to have break-even days in contested action, one notably so.

“The highlight was returning All-State wrestler Sheldon Rader’s performance in an absolutely-loaded 113,” Smith detailed.

The senior sixth-place state medal-winner (at 106 pounds) won by 19-3 technical fall over Moberly’s Tyler James and by fall at 5:10 over Helias’ Carter Prenger, both 2020 state qualifiers (Prenger in Class 3). He lost by 13-5 major decision to Bolivar’s Canyon Cunningham and by fall to Sam Ewing of Pleasant Hill in 3:15. Ewing is defending Class 2 106-pound state champion and Cunningham was third at state at 106 last year.

St. James did not have an entry at 113 pounds in Rader’s first outing of the season at the weight at which Smith expects him to compete in the postseason.

Also splitting four contested bouts and picking up a forfeit win was freshman Brody Cairns at 160 pounds.

Chillicothe High School wrestling Hornets freshman Brody Cairns battles Pleasant Hill's Jacob Hanes during their 160-pounds weight-class bout during Saturday’s Spartan Duals tournament at Moberly. Although he dropped this bout by 3-0 decision and another by fall, Cairns had a break-even day, picking up a first-period win by fall and another victory by decision, in addition to one win by forfeit.

He bested Helias’ Alex Tesreau 12-9 and pinned Stiehl Roberge of St. James in 29 seconds. He lost by fall to Bolivar’s Trey Brewer late in the third period (5:33) and was shut out by Pleasant Hill’s Jacob Haines 3-0. His win by forfeit was in the Moberly match.

The CHS wrestler with the best day, results-wise, however, was Tristian Slattery at 182 pounds.

Subbing for classmate Brock Miller, who had won the weight class at 182 in Pleasant Hill’s tournament start the season, but was unavailable again Saturday, Slattery won three of five bouts.

The sophomore, 11-13 a year ago in the upper weights, pinned St. James’ Ryan Hadley after only 43 seconds, finished Blake Luebbering of Helias in 2:53, and decisioned Moberly’s George Freeman 8-4. His setbacks were losses by fall to Bolivar’s Andrew Bunn in 60 seconds and to P-Hill’s Lane Brattin in 1:49. Brattin did not participate in his home tourney when Miller prevailed.

Only one other Hornets wrestler – Aidan Zimmerman at 132 pounds – claimed two victories in contested bouts Saturday. One was by fall in 1:20 and the other by 9-8 decision.

All Chillicothe wrestlers now are off from competition until Jan. 9. The varsity will be in the Cameron Duals tournament that day.

If healthy enough to compete that day, Rader almost certainly will become only the 13th Hornet ever to win 100 bouts in a career that day. His three victories at Moberly put him at 99 varsity wins.