On the final home match of the season Thursday night at the Windsor gymnasium, the Boonville Pirates wrestling team walked away from the match against the highly touted Kirksville Tigers with their heads held high.
Although the Pirates came up short against Kirksville 51-27, they did match the Tigers with five wins. However the four forfeits at 106, 113, 170 and 182 were just too much to overcome.
Boonville Pirates wrestling coach Christian Stock said without a doubt his team has gotten better and it showed on the mat against Kirksville.
"I thought we wrestled really well with Kirksville," Stock said. "Again, if you take away the opens that we have we would have tied the dual 27-27. I think that is very respectful. It was one of those high emotion nights as well with it being Senior Night. That could be bad or good but I think we handled the stress of that very well. I thought that several of our guys wrestled really well tonight. Brandon Ashpaugh got the ball rolling for us with a first period pin at 120. That set the tone for the evening and I felt like it also boosted all of our guys. Then Rory pinned his man in 17 seconds into the second period. Andrew Broyhill wrestled a really tough match as well and came out with a pin."
While the loss closed out the Pirates regular season record at 3-15 overall and 0-6 in the NCMC, Stock had to like the outcome of sophomore Brandon Ashpaugh's match in the 120-pound weight class.
Already down in the match 12-0 from the two forfeits, Ashpaugh came out and set the tone early for Boonville by pinning Kirksville's William Krause in 26 seconds.
The win was also Ashpaugh's 11th of the season in 23 matches.
Unfortunately for the Pirate wrestlers, they also had a little good with the bad. Such was the case at 126, with junior Kenan Johnson losing by pin against Branden Beeler in 4:45. Johnson, who dropped to 11-7 on the season, trailed Beeler 2-0 after the first and 4-0 after the second before the pin in the third.
Of course Boonville turned the tables on Kirksville in the 132-pound weight as junior Rory Concannon trailed Evan Aljundi 5-0 after the first period before rallying with a second period pin in 2:17. The win also raised Concannon's record to 13-22 overall.
The Tigers had their moments in the match as well against Boonville. Take the 138-pound weight class for example. Mitch Kriegshauser led sophomore Austin Hulbert 4-0 after the first before recording a second period pin in 2:26. Meanwhile, at 145, Matt Kelly won a hard-fought match against junior Dylan Snapp by a score of 4-0.
Snapp dropped to 7-23 on the season while Hulbert fell to 13-22.
But even while trailing 27-12 in the match, the Pirates continued to battle Kirksville. In the 152-pound weight class, junior Andrew Broyhill improved to 25-9 on the season by pinning Kirksville's Tre Stewart in 4:15. Meanwhile, at 160, freshman Andrew Garrison won by a pin in 1:53 against Dorian Sneddon.
While the win by Garrison raised his season record to 8-21 overall, it also cut Kirksville's team score by three at 27-24.
The Tigers dominated the rest of the match with four wins in five matches for the victory.
After opens once again at 170 and 182, Kirksville's Kade Proctor won by a pin over Halden Toomsen in 2:43. Then, at 220, senior Kyle Cook fought off Kirksville's Logan Summers in the final seconds of the match for a 5-3 win to improve to 32-2 overall.
The Tigers had the last laugh, though, as Austin Dovin won by a first-period pin against Nolan Murray in 1:42.
In junior varsity action, freshman Morgan Browning won by a second-period pin against Gavin Bedford in 2:58. In other matches, Greg Harris lost by a pin against Wyatt Griffel in 2:43, Andrew Tutin lost by a pin against Nick Ferry in 4:23 and Ethan Hein lost by a pin against Logan Gibson in 1:21.
The Boonville Pirates wrestling team will participate in the Lexington Dual Tournament on Saturday.
The Pirates will go up against Trenton in the first round at 9 a.m. and then will face Knob Noster in the second round and Tipton in the third round.