Boonville will host Fulton, Higginsville and Fatima in triangular on Tuesday
A year with a lot of new faces.
That is how Boonville Pirates wrestling coach Christian Stock described the 2017-18 season in a nutshell.
With 16 wrestlers suited out for the upcoming season, the Pirates return five starters from a team which finished the 2016-17 season at 3-10 overall and 0-6 in the North Central Missouri Conference.
“We have a lot of holes to fill in the lineup with five seniors graduating,” Stock said. “We have a couple of young wrestlers that I hope will make an impact this season. Again this is the first time for them to wrestle in high school format. I have two great leaders in Gabe Rumbaoa and Charlie Pumel. I expect them to lead the team since they are my returning state qualifiers and placers.”
Numbers could also play a role in where the Pirates finish both overall and in the NCMC.
With only 16 out, Stock said the Pirates will again suffer from a number of opens for the season. He said it’s nothing he is not used to but hate to have to deal with.
“I’m not sure what I am going to have to do to get numbers up in the future,” Stock said.
One thing is for certain when it comes to the NCMC, Stock said Mexico had a solid lineup from top to bottom last season and return most of their lineup.
“Even the young wrestlers they had last season were very tough as well,” Stock said of Mexico. “I think that Moberly and Fulton will both be decent this season. They generally have full lineups and extras to fill in in time of need. I am also curious to see how Marshall is this season, they have a new head coach who brings a lot of enthusiasm with him. They are generally grinder wrestlers.”
As for the strengths of the team this season, Stock said it has to be the leadership of Rumbaoa and Pumel. He said they have been through the seasons and postseasons and know what it takes to be successful.
“They will lead by example and do a good job,” Stock said. “The other key is to keep the young wrestlers interested even though they may be struggling in the varsity lineup. It gets hard to walk out on that mat as a freshman or sophomore and continually take losses. I have to find a way to get these kids to buy in like last year’s seniors.
“They had a group of about seven and ended the season with six still on the team. They all faced tough matches for two years and last season their patience paid off. They were very competitive head to head, we just couldn’t put a solid team together around them. I need the same kind of dedication from these young guys.”
As for the weakness this season, Stock said it’s definitely numbers. He said you only have 16 out and a varsity roster is 14 so there are going to be several opens in the lineup.
“The 16 we have overlap at some weight classes,” Stock said. “We will focus as we have in the past on individual achievement and beating a team head to head and not worry about the overall dual score,” Stock said. “This is a difficult task but I am sure coach Newham and I can handle it. Keeping the wrestlers focused on the right thing is going to also be a key as well.”
Despite the low numbers this season, Stock said his goals for the season haven’t changed. He said he would like to take 3-4 wrestlers to state this season and place 2-3.
“Again we need to focus on the individuals because of the numbers,” Stock said. “We have to concentrate on the fundamentals because I feel like that is the key to our future success as a team. I also want to begin building the foundation with the young wrestlers in the program for the future of this program and beat every team we wrestle head to head in the matches that are wrestled. This is how we will be force to measure our success because of the opens we will have.”
Stock said the Pirates also have a motto this season. He said the motto: “When you go the extra mile, it’s never crowded”.
“We as coaches chose the motto that we think fits the team best for the season,” Stock said. “I think this is what all of our guys have to strive for this season. We need to push ourselves harder than our opponents.”
As for the two returning wrestlers this season for Boonville, junior Charlie Pumel finished 41-10 in the 152-pound weight class last season nd led the Pirates in tech falls with three, takedowns with 43, reversals with 33, two-point nearfalls with 19 and three-point nearfalls with 20.
A state qualifier last year for the Pirates, Stock said Pumel is second in line as far as leadership. “Charlie is a hard worker and leads in that manner,” Stock said. “He had a taste of state without placing and I am sure he is hungry to get a medal. Charlie is just a tough kid and grinder when it comes to wrestling. He is also a kind you can never count out in a match. In the conference last year, his only loss came to Tanner Spark from Kirksville, who took first in conference and in state at 152. Charlie got two takedowns on him and had him on his back in the last dual of the season. I have high expectations for Charlie.”
Rumbaoa also brings back experience to the lineup. While finishing 43-5 last year in the 220-pound weight class, Rumbaoa also took third at state in 2016-17 making him a two-time place finisher after finishing fifth as a freshman.
In addition to winning 43 matches, Rumbaoa tied both Jon Carr and Kyle Cook for most wins in a season. He also set the record for most consecutive falls with 13, which was previously set by both Rex and Blake Stevens with 11 in a row. His 34 falls last year also broke the record by Kyle Cook, which he previously held at 30.
Stock said Rumbaoa was in the top three in six out of 10 categories last season.
“Gabe has the leadership shoes this year,” Stock said. “He has done a great job so far. I think his personal goals are extremely high this season as they should be.”
Other wrestlers that will see the mat this season are juniors Gavin Vollmer, Lance Marshall and Dalton Williams, sophomores Heath Danner, Greyson Mesik, Dakota Rapp and Brady Stock and freshmen Eric Bundy, Jayson Bundy, Brayden McFarland, Gaige Offineer, Dustyn Taylor and Brant Whitaker.
Here is what Stock had to say about each wrestler:
Gavin Vollmer, a three-year varsity wrestler, had a rough two seasons as a varsity wrestler. He just seems to fit in weight classes that are pretty stacked. I would like to see him a .500 wrestler this season.
Lance Marshall-works really hard in the room and is learning every day. I really wish he would have come out as a freshman. He has the build and work ethic to be a great wrestler but just needs the mat time to get there.
Dalton Williams-one of the strongest wrestlers on the team. He is a hard worker and really leads by example in that manner. He is looking to crack the lineup at heavyweight.
Heath Danner-is a one-year varsity and three year wrestler who showed improvement throughout last season. I look for him to be in the varsity lineup again this season again but that has yet to be determined.
Greyson Mesik-has not yet been a varsity wrestler but has a chance to get in this season. He has wrestled for many years through kids club and junior high. He is a hard-nosed tough wrestler.
Dakota Rapp-received a provisional varsity letter and is looking to break into the varsity lineup around 170. He wrestled several varsity matches but just didn’t quite have enough team points to get a varsity letter. He has worked hard in the off season to get better as well.
Brady Stock-has not wrestled varsity but will be pushing for a spot against Williams and Offineer this season. He has worked hard in the off season to get stronger and more agile. It has really shown so far this season.”
Eric Bundy, a two-year wrestler, is just really getting the hang of things. He said Bundy is a tough kid who has a bright future if he sticks it out. I think he might have a chance to make the varsity lineup this season.
Jayson Bundy-he qualified for kids state both his seventh and eighth grade year. He also has a chance of being in the varsity lineup this season. He has a solid understanding of the fundamentals and really can help the team.
Brayden McFarland-has two years of junior high experience and qualified for kids state last year. He is also a wrestler that should make the varsity lineup. He has good fundamentals to work with and enjoys the sport.
Gaige Offineer-has wrestled a couple of years through the kid’s club and Jr high. He will be competing with the other two heavy weight candidates.
Dustyn Taylor-is a 5-year wrestler who has qualified for kids state 4-7th grade years without placing. The fundamentals are in place, he just going to have to find a spot in the line-up or wait his turn in a year. I think he will be an asset to the team this season and more to come.
Brant Whitaker-is also a kids state qualifier 4th-7th grade, a two time Brute National Champion, Corn Cob Champion at Des Moines Iowa, and top 16 at Fargo Freestyle. He is a solid wrestler who I look forward to seeing on the varsity mat and see where he ends up at the end of the season.