As the No. 3 seed going into the Class 2 District 3 Tournament over the weekend at Clinton High School, Boonville senior Andrew Broyhill knew the cards were stacked against him from the start in the 152-pound weight class.
After missing all of last year due to a series of concussions, Broyhill returned to the mat this season as an unknown to most wrestlers and coaches.
Of course that was before the junior grappler swept through his bracket to win the title by knocking off both the No. 1 and 2 seeds.
Boonville senior Kyle Cook will also return to the state tournament after placing second in the 220-pound weight class.
As far as the final-team standings for the district tournament, Monett captured first with 166.5 points. Pleasant Hill finished second with 147.5 points, followed by Bolivar with 126, Reed Springs with 116.5, Nevada with 110.5, Clinton with 95, Logan-Rogersville with 94, Marshall with 85, Harrisonville with 83, Owensville with 79, Osage with 52.5, Boonville with 44, St. James with 42 and Buffalo with 29.
Boonville Pirates wrestling coach Christian Stock said he knew going in that with only two wrestlers seeded in the top four that it was going to be tough for the other wrestlers.
"We had some inexperienced wrestlers that aren't young but are first or second year wrestlers and they had a pretty rough district," Stock said. "But we kind of expected that a little bit. Maybe that will leave a sour taste in their mouth and gives them something to comeback and fight for next year."
Ranked No. 9 in the state at his weight class, Broyhill seemed to have little trouble in the first-two rounds by pinning Owensville's Conrad Bombah in 1:05 and Brance Neal of Harrisonville in 52 seconds. However, in the semifinal round Saturday against Nick Harper of Marshall, who was ranked fifth in the state in the 152-pound weight class, Broyhill trailed 2-1 late in the third period before rallying with a takedown with 6.8 seconds left in the match for a 3-2 victory. Meanwhile, in the championship against Broden LaMaster of Reed Springs, Broyhill again had to come from behind. Trailing 3-2 after the first period, Broyhill rallied back to tie the match at 6-all in the second period and then scored what turned out to be the winning point in the third period with 30 seconds left for a 7-6 victory.
Stock said that is the kind of wrestler Broyhill is. "The match is never over until the last second because he is in it all the time," Stock said. "In the match against Harper, Andrew knew he had to have a takedown to get it done. He set up his takedown and ended up finishing it out and that's why you wrestle to the last second on the clock. Meanwhile, in the championship against LaMaster, we knew what the kid was going to try and do the entire time. When we got the reverse to win the match with 30 seconds left I told Andrew to let him back on his feet but to stay away from him."
Page 2 of 2 - Broyhill, 34-9 on the season, will wrestle Mexico's Samuel Fayad, 25-21, in the opening round of the state tournament Thursday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
As for Cook, the senior grappler entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed and looked the part with back-to-back pins in the first-two rounds against Sam Overturf of Marshall in 2:42 and Terry Green of Logan-Rogersville in 1:46. Meanwhile, in the semifinal round against Colby Smith of Nevada, Cook led 2-1 after the second period and then scored two takedowns and two escapes for a 8-3 victory. Then, in the championship against Zack Kearney of Reed Springs, Cook trailed 3-2 after the first period before rallying back to tie the match at 3-all in the second. However, in the final period, Kearney scored on an escape which turned out to be the difference in the match for a 4-3 victory.
Stock said Cook wrestled a very solid match against Smith. "We had wrestled Colby several times during the season and barely beat him the first time and majored him the second time," Stock said. "We knew we had our work cut out but Kyle came out and wrestled a solid, fundamental match. In the championship match, we had never seen that kid before. Now obviously we wrestled him here and talked to people we knew. We knew that whole team works for wrist and near half and they sink the half deep and try to run it over, so we knew what we had to do. We got back within a point in the match and just couldn't get the last takedown even though we shot somewhere around six times on the match. We had good attempts on a takedown but we never did finish one. The kid wasn't very offensive. His plan was pretty much like ours, he knew all he had to do was play get away once he got the lead to win the match at the end."
Cook, 39-4 on the season, will face Sumner's Marvin Brown, 25-6, in the opening round of the state tournament on Thursday.
In other weight classes, Brandon Ashpaugh (120), Kenan Johnson (126), Austin Hulbert (138), Dylan Snapp (145), Andrew Garrison (160) and Nolan Murray (285) all finished 1-2 in their respective weight classes with one bye.
First-round matches in Class 1-2 will begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday. Classes 4-5 will start at 5 p.m.