Competing against one of the strongest conferences in the state didn’t bode well for the Boonville Pirates wrestling team.
Although the Pirates finished last in the NCMC at 0-6, they did have some of the best wrestlers pound for pound in the heavier weight classes while landing four wrestlers on either the first or second team for the 2016-17 season.
In the final-team standings in the conference this season, Mexico captured the team title at 6-0. Moberly finished second at 5-1, followed by Hannibal at 4-2, Marshall fourth at 3-3, Fulton fifth at 2-4, Kirksville sixth at 1-5 and Boonville seventh at 0-6.
“The NCMC is one of the strongest conferences in the state without a doubt,” said Boonville Pirates wrestling coach Christian Stock. “We have many medalists and champions from the NCMC at the state level. I thought individually we competed very well head to head in our upper weights. I think that this is clear by having four wrestlers being honored as all-conference medalists. I believe this is the largest number of all-conference wrestlers I have had as a head coach. I am very pleased with our performance.”
Junior Gabe Rumbaoa was the only first-team selection for the Pirate wrestlers in the 220-pound weight class. Sophomore Charlie Pumel at 152, Joel Concannon at 182 and Keandre Anderson at 285 were all second team selections.
While finished the season at 43-5 overall, which tied the all-time win record with Kyle Cook and Jon Carr, Rumbaoa also broke two other records for most pins in a season with 34 and consecutive pins with 13.
For the season, Rumbaoa finished with 41 takedowns, 14 reversals, 12 escapes, nine three-point nearfalls, eight two-point nearfalls and three decisions.
Stock said Rumbaoa had a great season. “He qualified for state for a second time in his career and placed for the second time as well,” Stock said. “He dominated the conference this season. He improved this season and became a more well-rounded wrestler. He really had a desire to qualify for state and place higher than he did as a freshman. Being the only junior on the team, he has huge shoes to fill when it comes to leadership for the upcoming season.”
Pumel also returns next season for Boonville after finishing 41-10 overall.
While finishing 2-2 at the state tournament, Pumel also led the Pirate wrestlers in six categories this season with most tech falls with three, most decisions with eight, most takedowns with 43, most reversals with 33, most two-point nearfalls with 19 and most three-point nearfalls with 20.
Stock said Pumel had a great season as a sophomore in the conference as well as the regular season.
“His only loss came to Tanner Sparks from Kirksville, who took first in conference and state at 152,” Stock said. “Charlie got two takes on him and had him on his back in the last dual of the season. He is a grinder, hard worker and never gives up. He just walks out on the mat looking to get after whoever wants to wrestle. He is a tough kid and I am excited to see where his ability and personality take him the next couple of seasons. I have high expectations for him.”
While Rumbaoa and Pumel return next season for Boonville, seniors Joel Concannon and Keandre Anderson competed for the last time this season.
Concannon finished 26-9 on the season with 26 takedowns, 15 three-point nearfalls, 15 falls, 14 reversals, seven two-point nearfalls, six escapes, six decisions and one tech fall.
Stock said Concannon had a really tough season as far as health goes.
“Joel fought several different bugs off this season and missed a large number of matches,” Stock said. “He had a great season qualifying for state for the second time in his career. He is without a doubt the hardest working wrestler on this year’s team. He was a positive example for all the other wrestlers. He will be missed in the room next season.”
Anderson also closed out his career with a winning record at 23-13 overall in the 285-pound weight class. Although Anderson had his season cut short in the district tournament, the senior grappler still managed to finish the season with a team-leading 28 escapes along with 31 takedowns, 17 falls, five reversals, four three-point nearfalls, one two-point nearfall, one major decision and one decision.
Stock said Anderson had an up and down season. “Keandre’s only loss in conference was to Aaron from Mexico,” Stock said.  “He really worked hard this season. Things just didn’t pan out for him at districts.”