For Boonville senior Kyle Cook and junior Kenan Johnson, the Jim Wallace Classic Saturday in Fulton was all about setting themselves up for the rest of the season.
With a total of 10 teams competing in the tournament, head coach Christian Stock said this was one of those tournaments where if you lose two matches you are done for the rest of the day.
As it turned out, Cook was perfect on the day while finishing 2-0 in the 220-pound weight class for first place. While sporting a record of 30-2 on the season, the senior grappler won his first match against Fulton’s John Kingsley by pin in 3:06. Meanwhile, in his second match, Cook decisioned Priory’s Taylor Boyce by a score of 4-2.
Stock said Cook continued to wrestle well on Saturday. “He faced a conference opponent in Kingsley and Taylor Boyce was a state qualifier last year at 220. “We still have some things to work on and get better,” Stock said. “The good thing about that is that Kyle is willing to put that work in. He also realizes that people are aware of him and are preparing for him in every match he wrestles.”
As for Johnson, he had three matches on the day and finished 2-1 with two pins to finish third overall.
Of course the junior grappler had a rough start in the opening round by losing to Osage’s Skylar Bax by a score of 7-4. However, in his next-two matches, Johnson won by falls over Clayton’s Talat Naserddinov and Fulton’s Jared Kaiser in times of 1:02 and 3:25, respectively.
Johnson also improved to 11-5 on the season
“Kenan wrestled very well against some good competition,” Stock said. “He has really began to show great improvements so far. I can truly say that he is getting better with every match that he wrestles. He will try new things on the mat that are shown to him. He also pays attention to what is being said from the corner during the match. With the improvements he has made he is putting himself in good position for districts.”
Junior Rory Concannon, who competed in the 132-pound weight class, was the only other winner for Boonville. Concannon finished 1-2 while Dylan Snapp was 0-1 at 145, Austin Hulbert 0-2 at 138, Andrew Garrison 0-2 at 152, Halden Toomsen 0-2 at 192 and Nolan Murray 0-2 at 285.
The Boonville Pirates wrestling team will travel to Mexico for a conference match on Tuesday, Jan. 22 starting at 6 p.m.