The Boonville Pirates wrestling team set out to get as many to the state tournament as possible Saturday during the Class 2 District 2 Tournament at Marshall.
Although the district tournament was pushed back a day due to the ice, the goal was still the same on Saturday.
As it turned out, Boonville qualified four of the nine wrestlers to the state tournament-which will be held Thursday through Saturday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
“I thought we wrestled really well today,” said Boonville wrestling coach Christian Stock. “We ended up with a first, second, third and fourth place finish, but before we started this I thought we had four maybe five that had a chance to qualify for state. I’m really happy with four, though.”
Brant Whitaker captured the only first place finish for the Pirates in the 152 pound weight class. Dalton Williams placed second at 285 while Charlie Pumel took third at 160 and Peyton Hahn fourth at 195.
In the final team standings, Kirksville captured the district title with 174.5 points. Moberly finished second with 169 points, followed by Mexico at 135.5, Centralia at 135, Fulton at 118.5, St. Charles West at 115, Priory at 77.5, Boonville eighth at 75, Southern Boone at 55, Winfield at 54, Lutheran St. Charles at 48, Owensville at 31, Marshall at 23 and Orchard Farm and St. Francis Borgia at 16.
As the No. 1 seed at 152, Whitaker had little if any trouble advancing through his bracket with back-to-back pins in the first-two rounds with pins against Brennan Homback of Winfield in 1:08 and Alan Kopp of Owensville in 1:09. Whitaker also won by a fall in the semifinals against Blayne Wieberg of Mexico in 3:00. However, in the championship match, Whitaker had to battle it out through three periods against Moberly’s Tristan Morris before prevailing by a score of 6-0.
Stock said Whitaker, who improved to 45-1 on the season, has been wrestling on another level and continued that at districts.
While the district title was the first for Whitaker, as he finished third last year at 145, senior Dalton Williams was also going for his first championship as the No. 4 seed at 285.
In the top half of the bracket against No. 1 seeded Maverick Sadler of Mexico, Williams picked up a bye in the first round and then won by fall against Bret Wang of Priory in the quarterfinals in 49 seconds. Meanwhile, in the semifinals against Sadler, Williams pulled off a huge upset by pinning Sadler in the third period in 5:20. Then, in the championship match against Moberly’s Tyler Nickerson, Williams led 1-0 after the second period but then surrendered a reversal in the final minute to suffer a 2-1 defeat.
At 29-16 on the season, Stock said to knock off the No. 1 seed in the semis was amazing for Williams.
“Even though he lost in the championship, I thought Dalton wrestled a really tough match against Nickerson,” Stock said. “He just ran out of time at the end.”
Pumel also had a tough draw leading up to his third place match.
In one of the toughest brackets in the district, Pumel pushed through to the semis after winning by a fall in the second round against Alex Meyer of St. Charles West in 2:45. Pumel received a bye in the first round. Meanwhile, in the semifinals, Pumel again ran out of time while dropping a 6-4 decision against Centralia’s Grafton Littrell. Pumel won his next match by fall in wrestlebacks against Kirksville’s Parker Laudwig in 3:04. Then, in the third place match, Pumel defeated Meyer for the second time in the tournament-this time by a major decision 11-1 to improve to 36-10 on the season.
“Charlie knew he had a tough draw with the Little kid because we had seen him up at Higginsville against Brant but I think Charlie recovered well and came back through the back side and did well there,” Stock said.
As for Hahn, he also had a tough bracket at 195 with the No. 1 wrestler in the state in Class 2 waiting for him in the semis.
But before Hahn could worry about Centralia’s Trevor Bodine, the freshman grappler had to win his quarterfinal match against Fulton’s Josh Dunmire. As it turned out, Hahn won a close match against Dunmire by a score  of 3-0. Then, in the semifinals against Bodine, Hahn lost by a technical fall 15-0. However, after coming back through wrestlebacks to beat Stone Corder of Orchard Farm 4-3, Hahn fell in the third place match against Moberly’s Chance Richards by a score of 5-2.
Stock said Hahn (32-15) had a pretty tough draw in the semis against Bodine.
“Peyton could have easily walked off the mat and given up after losing in the semis, but he showed a lot of pride and came back out and wrestled well in his next two matches,” Stock said.
Junior Dakota Rapp was also within striking distance in the 220 pound weight class. Although Rapp didn’t really start wrestling until January due to injury, he proved that he belonged on the mat with everybody else after picking up two wins in wrestlebacks. Rapp dropped his first match by fall against Joseph Bauer of Owensville in 5:53 but then won by a 4-3 decision against Adam Dooley of St. Charles West and a 9-7 decision against Gerald Nomau of Marshall to reach the bubble match. However in his next match, Rapp lost by a fall against Steven Johnson of Fulton in 1:36.
“I kind of thought Dakota would be right on the bubble,” Stock said. “He hadn’t had a lot of mat time and I think that hurt him because I think he would have done better having more matches on the mat but it’s something that will hopefully leave a bad taste in his mouth and he comes back next year to fight through that.”
In other weight classes for Boonville, Brayden McFarland (132), Eric Bundy (138), Lance Marshall (145) and Carter Stumph (170) all finished 0-2.
“I think each and every one of them performed well for their first district,” Stock said. “We have a lot of young kids at the lighter weights. Bundy is a second year wrestler and had never wrestled before that. He gets knocked out in two matches but he’s had a great season. Brayden is a great technical wrestler but his strength is just not there. Lance is probably the hardest worker I have in the wrestling room but just lacks the experience, and Carter was a kid that was filling in for Travis Dell, who went down with a knee injury. Carter wrestled most of the season at JV but then comes in and takes over the varsity spot. He is getting there and will be a good kid in the linuep next year.”
As for the four wrestlers moving on to state, Stock said three of the four are returning from last year while Hahn is the newcomer. “It’s nice to get four like I said,” Stock said. “Three of the four have experience at state so it won’t be anything new to them. As for Hahn, he has the mat time and has wrestled plenty of matches so he is doing really well. The future is definitely bright for him being just a freshman.”
Note: First round matches for Classes 1-2 will begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday.