Three wrestle, one wins at state

Mykal Albers, Photography editor

Sophomore Dallas Larsen earned a state wrestling medal last weekend and two other wrestlers, sophomore Nate Fauquier and freshman Kolby Estes made their first appearance on the state mat. Larsen took sixth in the 113 weight class on Saturday, Feb. 20.  

  Making it to state is one set goal, medaling is the next goal after that. This was Larsen’s second year to qualify, but first to medal.

  “Making it to state wasn’t good enough for me, medaling is the overall goal,” Larsen said. “There is no other feeling like making it to state, it means that you are one of the best wrestlers in the whole state of Missouri, and that’s awesome! When you are waiting to wrestle you are standing in tunnels looking at the mat and it honestly makes you feel like a gladiator.”

  All three wrestlers made it to the second day of the tournament with one win and one loss. Larsen was beat by a North Andrews wrestler in overtime in round two, just to wrestle the same athlete in his final round. He lost 2-1 to take sixth.

 Estes was winning 2-0 in the first match, but got pinned. He won his second by a pin and lost the third 3-0.

  “At state I didn’t perform as well as I would’ve liked to.” Estes said. “My bracket was a super tough bracket and I’m proud of how I wrestled my last match, but my first match will be haunting me until next year at state.”

  Coach Hawks was proud to have such wrestlers to make it to the state mat.

  “It is great to have such all underclassmen qualify for the state tournament.  It was a great experience for each kids, especially since they have two and three more years to improve on their finishes,” Hawks said.

  Hawks said he prepared the wrestlers by treating state like any other match.

“A lot of times if you put too much emphasis on ‘the state tournament’ the kids get too nervous and don’t perform their best. We talked a little bit about how it’s the same thing we’ve been doing all year, wrestling one kid at a time,” Hawks said.

  Larsen, Fauquier (weight class 220) and Estes (weight class 132) made it to state by placing in the top four in their weight class at the District Tournament in Seneca Feb. 12 and 13.  Larsen placed second and Fauquier Estes each placed third.

  Making it to state takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

  “To get to state it takes hard work,” Hawks said. “Our three state qualifiers were some of the most consistent and hardest workers on the team.  These three wrestlers were voted team captains by the team members.  Aside from just doing things right in practice, it is important to do things right outside the practice room, in the classroom and in the community.  I feel like these three did all those things.”

  “To get to state it takes dedication, hard work, and making sacrifices that others won’t,” freshman Kolby Estes said. “I trained myself by working hard, eating right, and some mornings I would get up and run at 5 am and after practice.”

  “I pray, go to bed early, and think about moves ahead of time. I think of at least three moves that I could do back to back when I’m wrestling,” Larsen said.

  “You have to want the title more than the other guy, and to be able to react to the other guys moves,” sophomore Nate Fauquier.

  The wrestlers are already setting new goals for next season.

“Not placing this year really makes me disappointed but it only gives me more drive to work harder this off-season and improve so that way next year I will impress so many people with the improvements that I made,” Estes said.

 “I am going to wrestle cleaner, faster and stronger,” Larsen said.