Boonville sophomore wrestler Brant Whitaker didn’t have any problems going up against wrestlers from bigger schools Friday and Saturday in the Columbia Hickman Tournament.
While facing schools two, three and even four times bigger than Boonville, Whitaker not only placed first in the 152 pound weight class he also broke the record for consecutive pins with 15. Gabe Rumbaoa held the previous record with 13.
Of course Whitaker wasn’t the only place finisher for Boonville. With only five wrestlers competing in the tournament, Boonville had one fourth place finisher, one sixth place finisher and two 10 place finishers.
The Pirate wrestlers also finished 13th out of 21 teams in the tournament.
Edwardsville High School in Illinois captured first in the tournament with 371.5 points. Jefferson City finished second with 254 points, followed by Lee’s Summit North at 236.5, Northwest Cedar Hill at 234.5, Lindbergh at 224, Fulton at 173, Camdenton and Joplin tied at 146.5, Waynesville at 141, Hickman at 129, Father Tolton at 123.5, Republic at 110, Boonville 94, Southern Boone 91.5, Rock Bridge 83, Lutheran St. Charles 79, Battle 72, Hallsville 69.5, Parkview 59, Blue Springs South 53.5 and Marshall 28.
Boonville Pirates wrestling coach Christian Stock said overall the wrestlers did well. “There was top notch competition across the board,” Stock said. “These guys came away with a first, fourth, sixth and two 10th place finishers. We wrestled very well in this tournament that included Class 1-4.”
For Whitaker, the tournament was a chance to show off his talents against some of best wrestlers in the state. While finishing 5-0 during the tournament, Whitaker won three matches by fall and two by decisions to improve to 31-1 on the season.
Whitaker also scored 35.5 points for the Pirates by picking up falls in his first three matches against William Cannon of Hickman in 3:21, Matthew Huston of Marshall in 47 seconds and Will Zupanci of Edwardsville in 5:03. Meanwhile, in the semifinal round, Whitaker won in a close decision against Sam Rackers of Jefferson City-the No. 1 ranked wrestler in Class 4-by a score of 3-2. Then, in the championship match, Whitaker won by a 5-2 decision against Michael Cassidy of Waynesville-the No. 3 ranked wrestler in Class 4.
Stock said Whitaker put together an extremely strong weekend. “He defeated several class 3 and 4 wrestlers in his run to the championship,” Stock said. “ Brant wrestled the most technically sound matches I have seen him wrestle the last two seasons.  His semifinal match against Sam Rackers of Jeff City, he controlled the match by taking shot after shot to keep Sam on his heels.  Brant scored the first takedown and Rackers scored two escapes in the match.  In the championship match, Brant had to play a little more defense and he did just that.  He is really upping his game as the season goes on.  I look for much more from him as the season goes on.”
Boonville senior wrestler Charlie Pumel also upped his game over the weekend by placing fourth in the 160 pound weight class.
While finishing 4-3 in the tournament with three falls and one decision, Pumel also improved his record to 27-6 on the season.  His 24 team points were also second to Whitaker. Needless to say, Pumel won his first two matches by falls against Cameron Cornman of Hickman in 3:38 and Brayden Thomas of Joplin in 49 seconds. Meanwhile, after losing in Round 5 against Caleb Harrold of Edwardsville in a close decision 7-5, Pumel came back to win his quarterfinal match against Andrew Javier of Lindbergh by a score of 10-8. Then, after dropping his semifinal match against Adrian Castaneda of Lee’s Summit North by fall in 1:09, Pumel battled back in the consolation semifinals to pin Kenyen Keiber of Parkview in 2:34. In the third place match, Pumel lost by a 12-6 decision against Andrew Javier of Lindbergh 12-6.
 Stock said Pumel wrestled tough as well.  “He was fighting a couple of nagging little injuries,” Stock said.  “He really wrestled well in a very strong pool of wrestlers.  Charlie just kept grinding and will in the future.  We beat Andrew Javier in a very close match this morning and then lost to him in the third place match.”
Boonville freshman Peyton Hahn also had a successful tournament despite finishing 3-4 with two falls and one decision. While scoring 14 team points in the 195 pound weight class, Stock said as a freshman in this tournament Peyton really had his work cut out for him.  “This was a tough weight class this weekend also,” Stock said. “Peyton wrestled very well this weekend.  In the final match of the day for fifth place against Anthony Heard of Lutheran St. Charles, this was a district opponent so it was an important match.  We did not come out on top.  I think if we get another chance at him we will turn the tables on him.  Peyton is a very patient and technical wrestler and that will pay off for him in the long run.”
Patience was virtue for the freshman grappler in the first two matches as Hahn won both by falls against Andrew Isom of Rock Bridge in 3:33 and Ed Anderson of Hickman in 57 seconds. Meanwhile, in Round 5, Hahn dropped his first match against Dakota Davis of Camdenton by a score of 1-0. Then, after losing in the quarterfinals against Montgomery Mills of Father Tolton by fall in 1:13, Hahn came back to win by a 3-0 decision against Manuel Ordonez-Webb of Lindbergh. However, in his next two matches, Hahn fell by a 2-1 decision against Davis of Camdenton and by fall against Anthony Heard of Lutheran St. Charles  in 2:28.
As for Dakota Rapp and Dalton Williams, who both placed 10th in their respective weight classes, Stock said Rapp and Williams had several byes because of the low number of wrestlers in their pools.
“Dalton was 2-3 for the weekend had two really solid wins to start the day to put himself in position to wrestle for ninth place against Tyrese Vaughn of Fulton,” Stock said.  “In the ninth place match, Dalton wrestled the best he has against Tyrese this season.  Dakota had a rough start but also had a couple of matches strung together this morning to put himself in the same position as Dalton.  Dakota is just starting his season with the team and I feel like is just getting over some early season jitters and will get better as time goes on.  Dakota was 2-4 for the weekend.”
While competing in the 220 pound weight class, Rapp dropped his first-three matches in the tournament-all by falls-to Cort Petty of Camdenton in 24 seconds, Brandon Backues of Jefferson City in 1:01 and Jake Hedrick of Battle in 1:58. Meanwhile, after picking up back to back wins against Gerald Nomau of Marshall by forfeit and a major decision against Colby Jackson of Lutheran St. Charles 12-1, Rapp fell in the ninth place match by fall against Dylan Thompson of Northwest Cedar Hill in 2:39.
As for Williams, the senior grappler finished 2-3 in the tournament in the 285 pound weight class. While scoring a total of 11.5 team points, Williams also had a rough start by dropping his first two matches against Will Bower of Rock Bridge by fall in 3:32 and Jacob Booe of Joplin by fall in 2:24. Then, after winning by a forfeit in the first round of consolation, Williams came back with his second win of the tournament by fall against Cooper Florez of Lindbergh in 2:12. Meanwhile, in the ninth place match, Williams lost by a 5-3 decision against Tyrese Vaughn of Fulton.