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Chillicothe (Mo.) HS Wrestling Team Goes 5-0 in Tournament

Full lineup spells difference as Hornets go 17-25 in contested bouts at Cameron Jan. 9

As reported to C-T

CAMERON, Mo. — Despite winning barely 40% of their contested bouts, Chillicothe (Mo.)High School’s wrestling Hornets emerged from Saturday’s (Jan. 9, 2021) Crossroads Duals Tournament at Cameron with five dual-match victories in as many outings because they had a full lineup.

Between two and eight forfeited-bout victories without giving away any such “free” points allowed Chillicothe to defeat Trenton, Marceline, Mexico, Sullivan, and Clinton in team matches, raising the Hornets’ season mark in duals to 11-6.

With the 10 participating schools divided into two 5-teams pools and then each wrestling all of the schools in the opposite pool, no outright team champion was determined. Similarly, no individual placement medals were at stake.

“We wrestled really well against some with very good teams with strong history in their programs,” commented Chad Smith, CHS head coach. “Mexico was state champion just a couple season ago.”

The closest score was against Mexico. In that one, three “open” weights for Mexico combined with contested-bout victories by Christian Peniston (285 pounds), Lucas Reynolds (195), Tristian Slattery (182), and Cayden Larson (145) to carry the day, 40-38. Peniston’s 1:44 win by fall in the final bout put the Hornets over the top in the second of their five duals.

They preceded that with a 54-19 decision over Trenton, even though THS took four of the six contested bouts, and followed it with a 48-31 verdict over Marceline in which the Tigers claimed all six wrestled bouts.

After turning back Clinton 57-21 while taking four of seven contested bouts, Chillicothe wrapped up its day with its most-successful showing. Capturing seven of 11 contested bouts, they prevailed 50-27 over Sullivan.

It was the second time this season the mat Hornets won all five duals they had in a 2020-21 tournament. Just as they began 2021 competition in that manner at Cameron, they’d done the same in their first 2020 action at Pleasant Hill about a month earlier.

“I am very proud of how this team is progressing,” Smith shared. “(The individual members) get better each time they go out and step to the line.”

Only two Chillicothe wrestlers came through the tourney without tasting defeat. Peniston won both of his contested bouts and Slattery his only one as he split time with Brock Miller at 182 pounds.

Although he lost his first three bouts – two of those while wrestling “up” a weight division (at 120, rather than the 113 he was qualified to be at), lightweight Sheldon Rader finally got his 100th career bout win when Clinton did not have an opponent for him at 113 pounds. The Hornets 12th grader then closed his day with an 11-6 winning decision against Sullivan’s 120-pounder for triumph No. 101.

“Sheldon has been a great leader for this group,” saluted the Chillicothe coach. “Several times (during the season) he has jumped up a weight class to help the team win the dual and he does it with a great attitude.

“It is great for all our young wrestlers to see that!”

The Chillicotheans with the most contested-bout victories in Saturday’s tournament were sophomore Reynolds at 195 and freshman Brody Cairns at 170.

Reynolds pinned Trenton’s Nate Burkeybile in 53 seconds, then Mexico’s Caleb Prater in 1:33. After getting one of CHS’ eight wins by forfeit against Marceline, he returned to action with another first-period stoppage (1:19) of Tristen Carter of Clinton. With a chance to wrap up his day with a perfect ledger, Reynolds lost by fall to Sullivan’s Wyatt Medlock in 20 seconds.

Cairns began with a 1:57 victory over THS’ Gaven Kelsall before picking up a forfeit against Mexico. After losing by fall to Marceline’s Hunter Nelson at 3:49, Cairns bounced back to decision Jace King of Clinton 12-9 and pin Franky Erxleben of Sullivan in 45 ticks of the clock.

Although he competed only once – and lost that bout, Chillicothe freshman 106-pounder Lane McCoy’s four forfeit wins pushed his team-leading season-wins total to 17. He stands 17-5 on the year.

Next on the wrestling Hornets’ schedule is a Tuesday road double-dual at Carrollton against the Trojans and Richmond.

Next Thursday (Jan. 14), Chillicothe will have the first of three home appearances in five days/nights, hosting Brookfield and Gallatin.

Saturday, Jan. 16, will bring the Chillicothe Invitational Tournament. Twelve schools are slated to participate in the bracketed boys’ action and, depending on the number of wrestlers available, either bracketed or round-robin girls’ competition.

Three mats will be utilized.

All Chillicothe High School home wrestling competition occurs in the fieldhouse at the middle school.