Boonville Pirates wrestling coach Kyle Newham said he didn’t really know what to expect Tuesday night in the season opener against Fatima and Higginsville at the Windsor gymnasium.
Not because the Pirates have a lot of new faces this season. That’s expected, he said. What was different about Tuesday’s match is that for the first time in program history, Boonville fielded a girls wrestling team.
As it turned out, Boonville wound up dropping both matches against Fatima and Higginsville. The Pirate wrestlers fell to Fatima 42-36 and Higginsville 50-24. Meanwhile, in the girls matches, Boonville lost to Fatima 6-0 and Higginsville 39-18.
“I saw a lot of new kids learning how to wrestle and that goes for the girls and even for some of the guys,” Newham said. “It's a first time ever actually being out there on the mat at home. There are nerves. Coach Hahn and I talked about that’s probably more than likely your first match is probably going to be the worst match that you wrestle all year long because we hope that you learn and kind of grow going forward. I did see a lot of good things.
“Obviously we never want to be 0-2. We would have liked to been able to either get a split on the night or even go 2-0 but it wasn't in the cards tonight. As our kids are allowed to get their weight down off the weight certification I think that is probably going to make us a stronger team moving forward, but the kids kind of know we have these opens and they know they have to go out there and battle.”
Boonville definitely battled on a night that was dominated with numerous open weight classes.
In the opening match against Fatima girls, junior Jordan Birk wrestled the only match for the Lady Pirates and lost by a pin against Morgan Eggleston in 31 seconds.
Meanwhile, in the boys varsity match, junior Peyton Hahn picked up the Pirates only win in the 220 pound weight class by pinning Fatima’s Caleb Reinkemeyer in 5:26.
In other matches, Caleb Martin lost by pin in the 120 pound weight class against Jason Strope in 1:54. At 138, Zane Watring lost by fall in 38 seconds against Eli Froning. At 152, Brayden McFarland lost by fall in 3:53 against Luke Schroeder. Meanwhile, at 195, Dustyn Taylor lost by fall against Jason Woodruff in 1:12.
Boonville was open at 126, 132, 145 and 170 against Fatima.
As for the match against Higginsville, senior Amelia Widel led  Collette Strathman 3-2 in the first period before receiving a injury default in the 142 pound weight class.
In other matches for the Lady Pirates, Birk lost in a close match against Lilly Morris 12-11 in the 130 pound weight class. At 152, Molly Johnson lost by fall against Aubrie Clark in 1:33. Meanwhile, at 187, senior Sarah Miller lost by fall against Trinity Weaver in 1:44.
Newham said it was a learning experience for both the coaches and the girls in Tuesday’s matches.
“I'm not going to lie, I really had no idea of what to expect,” Newham said. There has been girls that have wrestled here for Boonville but never as a team. I think that it's obviously different for them and it probably moves a lot faster. The girls didn't know what to expect, me and coach Hahn didn't know what to expect so I really think it was a learning for everybody.”
The Boonville Pirates wrestling team also had its share of close matches against Higginsville.
With a total of seven matches wrestled, Boonville won only two against the Huskers at 220 and 285. In the 220 pound weight class, Hahn won his second of the night with a pin in 51 seconds against Jace Kerley. Meanwhile, at 285, Gaige Offineer pinned Higginsville’s Connor Reynolds in 52 seconds.
In other matches, Zane Watring lost by fall against Imanol Hernandez in 1:35. At 152, Nash McKenzie lost by fall in 1:45 against Jack Davenport. At 182, Dakota Rapp dropped a 2-1 decision against James Wilkson. At 195, Dustyn Taylor lost by fall in 3:15 against Kelan Ernst. Meanwhile, at 106, Brayden Gamel lost by fall against Cris Hernandez in 52 seconds.
In an exhibition, match, Landon Williams lost by fall against Garrett Pemberton in 1:22.
Newham said he saw a lot more comradery and everybody cheering each other on, which was a positive.
“There was a lot of encouragement, so that's definitely a positive,” Newham said “There was also some things that we did really well off the bottom tonight and also on the same aspect there were same things that we made mistakes on that we covered in practice that obviously we are going to have to go back through and recover and try to get them eliminated.”
All in all, Newham said he would have loved to have won more matches but said the season is a marathon and not a sprint.
“We never want to concede any wins but in the same aspect the main thing is that every time out we want to say that we improved doing something,” Newham said. “We tried to explain it to them, this isn't the state finals and they are not handing out any medals. We've got a long ways to go over the course of the season.”
Boonville will compete next in the Pleasant Hill Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7.
Newham said only the more experienced wrestlers will compete in this tournament.