With just one week left in the regular season before districts, Boonville Pirates wrestling coach Christian Stock couldn’t have asked anymore from his grapplers Saturday during the Highway 13 Husker Throwdown in Higginsville.
While taking only nine wrestlers to the tournament, Stock said only eight wrestled after the first round due to a shoulder injury suffered by Dustyn Taylor. However of the eight left, Stock said six placed in the top four and put the team in fourth place overall.
“This is the first time we have wrestled in this tournament so I was not sure of what expectations I should have for the team,” Stock said. “I always want to compete at a high level and I feel like we definitely did that.”
That’s an understatement. In the final team standings, Centralia captured first with a total of 202 points. Knob Noster finished second at 187.5, followed by Sherwood at 153, Boonville at 146, Macon at 107.5, Hamilton Penney at 107, Lafayette County at 91, Tipton at 67, Lathrop at 37, St. Michael the Archangel at 35, Butler at 31, St. Paul Lutheran at 16, Alta Vista Charter at 11, Knob Noster’s JV at 7 and Butler’s JV at 1.
As for place finishers, Boonville had two first place finishers, one second, two thirds, one fourth, one fifth and two sevenths.
As for the two first place finishers, Brant Whitaker improved to 39-1 on the season in the 152 pound weight class while Charlie Pumel raised his season record to 32-8 at 160.
While finishing 5-0 in the tournament, Whitaker also won all five matches by fall by pinning Eli DeLapp of Lafayette County in 46 seconds, Marshall Whitham of Sherwood in 1:22, Chris Corley of Tipton in 53 seconds, Lane Horinek of Penney in 3:41 and Grafton Littrell of Centralia in 3:08.
Stock said Whitaker had another great day. “He won all his matches with falls and recorded all of them in the first period except in the first place match,” Stock said. “He is having an outstanding year. I am excited to see what comes of it. He is wrestling on another level compared to most of his competition. He has a very bright future ahead of him.”
As for Pumel, the senior grappler finished 4-0 on the day with one bye and four falls. Pumel won his third round match against Makoda Savage of Tipton by fall in 56 seconds. Then, after pinning Dominick Mitchell of Macon in the quarterfinals in 1:37, Pumel came back to win his semifinal match against Luke Hunter of Centralia in 45 seconds. Meanwhile, in the championship match, Pumel won by fall in the first period against Colin McDonald of Sherwood in 1:34.
Pumel said Pumel needed a good run because of a rough go lately. “He had that run today,” Stock said. “He wrestled extremely solid all day long. He dominated his opponents in this tournament as well. He won by fall with pins all in the first period. It seems that the nagging injuries that he has had are beginning to subside and he is pushing forward. He was on it today and looked like the Charlie of old.”
Senior Dalton Williams was also undefeated going into the championship match at heavyweight. While finishing 4-1 on the day for second place, Williams also won his first four matches by pins against Mason McFarland of Lathrop in 4:30, Dylan Grab of Sherwood in 48 seconds, Xavier Ortiz of Knob Noster in 1:36 and Theo Ryder of St. Paul Lutheran in 1:00. However in the championship, Williams lost by a pin against Caden Phillips of Macon in 3:13.
“Dalton had a six man round robin as well,” Stock said. “He had an outstanding day going undefeated until the last match of the day against the Macon kid.  Dalton is continuing to get better and better every match he wrestles.  He won by fall in all of his matches as well today.  It was good to see him string several matches together today and get those wins.  He is working hard in all his matches to put himself in good position for districts.  Looking for a good outcome from him.”
Peyton Hahn and Dakota Rapp also looked like the wrestlers Stock always knew they could be on Saturday by placing third at 195 and 220, respectively.
Hahn finished 3-2 on the day with all three wins coming by falls. After recording a first period pin against Levi Hartley of Penney in the opening round in 1:21, Hahn came back and picked up another pin in the second round against Tyler Stanford of Lathrop in 3:09. Then, after dropping a major decision against Trevor Bodine of Centralia in Round 3 8-0, Hahn fell in his next match as well against Steve Elwell of Knob Noster by fall in 1:25. Meanwhile, in the third place match, Hahn won by a fall over Brandon Carlson of Sherwood in 4:24.
“Peyton had a tough group of guys to wrestle with Elwell of Knob and Bodine of Centralia,” Stock said. “Peyton faced Bodine in pool play and lost a major decision to him. Bodine finished fourth in Class 1 at 195 last season. Peyton wrestled well against him and we saw some things that we can improve upon in future matches against him. We got behind by eight in the second period and chose neutral in the third to try to win on our feet. He had several good attempts at takedowns just all happened on the edge and were not able to capitalize on them.  In the match against Elwell of Knob-the defending state champ at 182 in Class 1-we lost by a fall in the first.  
“This put Peyton in position to wrestle for third place.  This is where I have been most impressed with Peyton as a freshman, and his ability to move on to the next match.  He took two tough losses back to back and could have just hung it up in the third place match but, he did not do that.  He went out and dominated Carlson of Sherwood in that match.  In this match before he pinned Carlson he scored a takedown, two reversals, a N2 and N3 before the fall in the third.  Peyton shows a lot of maturity on the mat and has a bright future.”
 As for Rapp, the senior grappler also finished 3-2 on the day with three falls.
Rapp won his first two matches by falls against Caleb Berry of St. Michael the Archangel in 2:53 and Levi Bryant of Tipton in 3:24. Then, after dropping his next two matches against Zach Baldwin of Sherwood by fall in 25 seconds and Max Cook of Macon by fall in 4:55, Rapp came back to win by a fall in the third place match against Ethan Rankin of Lafayette County in 1:50.
“Dakota had a good day,” Stock said. “He had a full pool so his placement was based on the head to head out of the 6 man round robin he was in. He lost his 2nd match that I think he should have won.  If he does he puts himself in 2nd place.  Overall he wrestled well his 2nd loss was to the 220 champion from Macon.  Dakota is getting back in the feel of things after not being with us for the 1st half of the season.  He is getting better and better every match he wrestles.  He needs to work on his conditioning and we have discussed that.  The more matches he get the better that will be.”
In other weight classes, Eric Bundy finished fourth at 3-2 in the 138 pound weight class. Taylor placed fifth at 182 while Brayden McFarland and Lance Marshall both placed seventh at 132 and 145, respectively.
Boonville will host Winfield and Marshall on Senior-Parents Night on Wednesday, Jan. 30th at 5:30 p.m.