For the number of wrestlers that competed in the Steven Leslie Invitational over the weekend in Pleasant Hill, the Boonville Pirates wrestling team had to come away feeling pretty good with one first place finish and two third place finishers.
With a total of eight wrestlers competing in the two-day tournament, Boonville head coach Christian Stock said not a bad weekend overall with three wrestlers placing in the top three.
“I had one freshman, two sophomores and one senior that this was their first varsity tournament experience,” Stock said. “One of those placed third. There were a couple of matches that I would like to have back but this is the better time of year to have problems than the end of the year. This is always a good tournament to see where we stand for the season. We get a decent number of matches for each of the wrestlers. Let’s us as coaches see what we need to work on for each of the wrestlers.”
In the final team standings, Kirksville captured first with 500 points. Chillicothe finished second with 437.5 points, followed by Pleasant Hill at 387.5, St. Joseph Benton at 359.5, Sullivan at 344, Fulton and William Chrismas at 329, Clinton at 316.5, Prairie Vew at 308, Blue Valley Northwest at 280.5, Nevada at 263, Eldon at 249, Boonville 13th at 214, Shawnee Mission NW at 139.5, St. James at 109, Owensville at 97, Summit Christian Academy at 80, Nevada JV at 75, Clinton JV at 60, Kirksville JV at 53, Blue Valley NW JV at 27, Chillicothe JV at 25, Pleasant Hill JV at 22, Benton JV at 21, Fulton JV at 12 and Sullivan JV at 0.
As for the place finishers for Boonville, sophomore Brant White finished first in the 152 pound weight class with a record of 5-1 while Charlie Pumel and Peyton Hahn both finished third at 160 and 195, respectivaely, with a record of 4-1.
Stock said Whitaker wrestled well this weekend. “He did lose by a defensive pin,” Stock said. “It was one of those situations that you never want to be in but sometimes happens. It was a surprise to both him and me but it happened. Other than that little hiccup, he wrestled solid matches all weekend. He has a good season ahead and this is just the start.”
Whitaker won three matches by fall and two by major decisions but had that one loss in the second round against Brendan Bartholome of Blue Valley Northwest by pin in 3:08. In his other matches, Whitaker won by fall over Korbin Wolfe of St. Joseph Benton in 1:24, by fall over Edward DeLong of Owensville in 2:51, by fall over Kobie Blankenship of Sullivan in 5:41, by major decision over Jaden Ballinger of Kirksville 10-0 and by major decision over Tommy Riffle of Pleasant Hill 11-0.
As for Pumel, the senior grappler won three matches by fall and one by a decision but fell in the semifinals against Gavin Cullor of Prairie View 7-2. In his other matches, Pumel won by fall over Alan Kopp of Owensville in 25 seconds, by fall over Dawson Wheeler of Chillicothe in 2:59, by fall over Will Pryor of Pleasant Hill in 1:20 and by decision over Jaren Powrie of Nevada 7-0.
Stock said Pumel had a solid weekend as well. “Charlie lost his only match in the semis to the eventual champion,” Stock said. “In the third place match, Charlie dominated the top position and got a solid win. He is wrestling extremely well and I look forward to him continuing doing it all season long.”
Hahn is also off to a good start at 195. After finishing 3-0 in the quadrangular last week in the season opener at the high school, Hahn won two matches by fall and two by decisions during a two day span. His only loss came in the semifinals against Chanz Gerleman of Prairie View 2-0. In other matches, Hahn won by fall over Trey Eplin of Sullivan in 4:26, by decision over Josh Dunmire of Fulton 4-0, by fall over Bryce Kertz of Kirksville in 5:22 and by decision over Ryan Edenburn of Pleasant Hill 8-1.
“Peyton had good weekend as well,” Stock said.  “I was curious to see how it turned out for him.  He is extremely technique sound and wrestled that way all weekend.  I think being a freshman; he surprised some of his opponents with strong technique.  He also lost his semi-final match.  In that match he only lost 2-0.  It was a tight match and wrestled very well.  Peyton is a young solid wrestler who has a bright future.  I was impressed with the poise Peyton showed on the mat all weekend long.”
As for the other Boonville wrestlers, Gavin Vollmer finished 3-3 in the 182 pound weight class, which was good enough for ninth. Dalton Williams, meanwhile, finished 2-4 in the 285 pound weight class for 10th place. At 138, Eric Bundy finished 1-5 for 12th place. At 132, Brayden McFarland finished 0-4 for 12th place. Meanwhile at 145, Lance Marshall finished 0-5 for 14th place.
“Again, I think we had a good weekend of learning and testing,” Stock said. “We learned a lot and will use it to prepare for the remainder of the season.”
The Boonville Pirates wrestling team will host Eldon and Sedalia Smith-Cotton in a triangular at the Windsor gymnasium on Thursday, Dec. 6th starting at 5:30 p.m.