If the task wasn’t hard enough for the Boonville Pirates wrestling team, imagine starting the season with eight freshmen in the starting lineup out of 14 weight classes.
While graduating only four seniors total, two of which competed on the varsity team, the Pirates also had two opens in the starting lineup.
Add it up and its no wonder Boonville finished 6-13 overall and 0-6 in the North Central Missouri Conference.
“Considering the things that we faced this season such as the eight freshmen starting in the 14-man lineup and two opens, we had an uphill battle all season,” Boonville coach Christian Stock said. “I thought that we got more and more competitive as the season went on. I think each and every one of the wrestlers progressed and got better.”
With so many new faces on the team this season, it didn’t come as a surprise that Boonville struggled against teams in the NCMC.
In the final-team standings, Kirksville captured the title at 6-0. Fulton finished second at 5-1, followed by Moberly at 4-2, Mexico at 3-3, Hannibal and Marshall each at 1-4 and Boonville at 0-6.
“As usual I feel like this is the one of the toughest conferences in the state,” Stock said. “Fulton and Kirksville finished in the top five and Moberly and Mexico in the top 20 and us setting just outside of that in the 22nd place in state. Marshall finished behind us in the standings, and Hannibal finished in the top five of Class 3 as well with three state champions, a runner-up and a third-place finisher out of the six qualifiers that they had.”
Despite finishing below .500 for the season, Stock said the highlight of the season was having two wrestlers qualify for state and having both of them place.
Senior wrestler Andrew Broyhill finished third in the 170-pound weight class while junior Haldan Toomsen placed fifth at 220.
“Andrew qualified last season and did not medal and Haldan was a first-time qualifier,” Stock said. “This was no easy task for either one of them. Just knowing how hard both of them worked to achieve it. It was a great outcome but not an easy task by any means.”
As far as the low points of the season, Stock said not being able to win a single conference dual this season was probably the main thing. He said he set a goal for the team and thought they had a chance to achieve it against Marshall but they struggled with the youth aspect again.
With most of the team returning in 2014-15, Stock said the kids need to continue wrestling and not come back at ground zero but ready to carry on from where they left off this season.
“We already have some kids that are getting together and rolling around on the mats on their own time which is always a good sign,” Stock said. “We had 22 wrestlers this season and only four of them were seniors so the future is bright for Pirate wrestling. The youth that we have are very interested in working hard in the off-season on their own and at a camp that we will have this summer. With that dedication it will push the entire team to new goals.”
Stock said he is also excited about the nucleus of the team returning next year.
“I am excited about the future of Pirate wrestling,” Stock said. “We will still be young with only two seniors for next season. I also think there is a good group of kids heading up from the junior high program. I think the competition in the room will get better with a year of high school wrestling under their belts of the young wrestlers that we had this season. I think we will have a strong team next year and I think we will be closer to having a full team.”
Stock also sees the number of wrestlers coming out as a good sign for the future. He said the one thing that that he hoped for is to spread out a little in the weight classes so that they can fill the lineup.
“If we grow much more we will need more room to practice,” Stock said. “We were wall to wall this season.”
As far as individual leaders for the season, senior Andrew Broyhill tied Haldan Toomsen for the most wins with 34 and most decisions with seven and also tied Joel Concannon for most decisions with three. He also finished tops on the team with 44 takedowns and 26 escapes.
Toomsen had the high for the team with 24 falls, 18 reversals and 16 three-point nearfalls. Rory Concannon led the team with 11 two-point nearfalls while Wyatt Grizzle tied Joel Concannon for most tech falls with two.