Charlie Pumel finishes third, Gabe Rumbaoa fourth
Boonville freshman wrestler Brant Whitaker is making it look easy in his first season with the Pirates wrestling team.
After going 2-0 in a triangular last week against Fatima and Fulton, Whitaker took it one step further over the weekend in the Steve Leslie Invitational in Pleasant Hill by capturing first in the 145 pound weight class.
Whitaker, 9-1 on the season, finished 7-1 in the tournament with his only loss coming against Pleasant Hill’s Chance Sullivan in Round 7 by a score of 3-0. Of course Whitaker would get another chance at Sullivan in the championship after beating Kobie Blankenship of Sullivan in the semifinals by fall in 5:34. Meanwhile, in the championship match, Whitaker avenged his only loss on the day by beating Sullivan 10-6.
In his first-five matches, Whitaker won four matches by falls and one by tech fall.
Boonville Pirates wrestling coach Christian Stock said Whitaker wrestled really well this weekend. “He had some struggles but focused and pulled through with a championship,” Stock said. “He lost to Sullivan 3-0 but then recovered from that loss and came back to beat him in the final 10-6. Brant is a young wrestler with a ton of talent that has to learn to stay focused on the task at hand the entire match. He got a bit distracted in the first match against Sullivan but like I said gained that focus when it mattered in the final match of the day.”
Of course Whitaker wasn’t the only place finisher for Boonville. Charlie Pumel finished 6-2 in the 152 pound weight class to place third overall. Pumel won his first-five matches by pins before losing in Round 7 against Gabe Hodge of Pleasant Hill 6-5. Pumel won his third place match against Isaac Grunig of Clinton by fall in 2:43.
Meanwhile, at 220, senior Gabe Rumbaoa placed fourth after injury defaulting his final two matches. Up until his injury default, Rumbaoa was 4-1 with his only loss coming to Colton Gillespie of Kirksville 6-3. Rumbaoa won all four matches of his matches by pins.
Senior Dalton Williams competed in the 285 pound weight class and finished 3-5 to placed 13th overall. Dakota Rapp finished 0-7 in the 170-pound weight class to place 14th overall. In junior varsity action, Greyson Mesik placed fifth at 220 with a record of 3-4.
As a team, the Pirate wrestlers finished 16th out of 25 teams with 182.5 points. Kirksville captured first with 530.5 points while Chillicothe finished second at 497, Pleasant Hill third at 484, St. James fourth at 472 and Prairie View fifth at 456.
With only six wrestlers participating in the tournament, Stock said of the younger guys just weren’t ready for a grind like this weekend can provide. “Overall, I thought we wrestled pretty well,” Stock said. “I think we could have done a little better but you never know for sure. Two of the six placed in the top three and two more in the top six.”