Boonville Pirates wrestling coach Justin Hahn was happy for several reasons at the conclusion of the Class 2 District 2 Wrestling Tournament Saturday at Mexico High School.
The first being that Hahn’s son, Peyton, qualified for state for the second year in a row in the 220 pound weight class. The second is that Hahn will get to see two new wrestlers compete at state in juniors Dustyn Taylor at 195 and Gaige Offineer at heavyweight.
“I’m happy getting three to state,” Hahn said. “I didn’t know what to expect coming into this and being my first year. I knew I had one state qualifier returning so anybody else that came back is a state qualifier. We had five seeded so obviously I would have liked all five of those seeded guys  to state. I ended up getting three of them.”
The Missouri State Wrestling Championships will be held Feb. 20-22 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
In the final team standings, Kirksville captured the team title with 192.5 points. Blair Oaks finished second at 157, followed by St. Charles West at 152.5, Mexico and Moberly at 134, Fulton at 132, Boonville seventh at 56, Southern Boone at 51.5, Priory and Winfield at 43, Owensville at 29, St. Francis Borgia at 25, St. Francis Borgia at 25, Wright City at 22.5, Orchard Farm at 20 and Lutheran St. Charles at 8.
While advancing three wrestlers to the state tournament, Hahn said by finishing fourth Gaige and Dustyn are going to have tough matches coming up because they’ll have to go up against the champion from the other district.
“Depending on where they get, there are obviously some weaker districts out there, so they still may come out and do alright,” Hahn said. “We’ll see. It’s their first time at state so it’s good experience. The good news about all the state qualifiers this year is that they are all coming back next year, so I won’t be able to tell you I have just one returner. I have three returners next year so I needed to build on that.”
In the opening round on Thursday, Taylor (19-26) will wrestle Dariuan Pointer of University City (32-3) in the 195 pound weight class. At 220, Hahn (38-4) will face Isaac Washburn of Chillicothe (31-5). Meanwhile, at heavyweight, Offineer (29-16) will wrestle Tristan Brown of Sullivan (42-2).
Hahn, a two-time state qualifier, finished 4-1 on the day with his only loss coming in the semis against the defending state champion-Dalton Bingman of Priory.
The No. 3 seed in the tournament at 220, Hahn won his first match by pin against Michael Stockton in 1:51. Hahn also won his second match by fall against Fulton’s Garrett Hufstedler in 1:42. Meanwhile, in the semis against Bingman, Hahn wrestled the defending state champion tough for three periods but fell in a close match 5-4. That turned out to be Hahn’s only loss as the sophomore grappler came back in wrestlebacks to pin Cody Patton of St. Charles West in 3:44. Then, in the third place match, Hahn won 3-1 over Bryce Kertz of Kirksville.
Hahn said Peyton’s weight class is one of the toughest in the state.
“Obviously, Peyton wanted to place higher than that but his goal is still out there for him,” Hahn said. “He wants to medal at state. I was happy with his day. He loses 5-4 to the returning champ and had another win against a sophomore in the third place match. But he’s a tough kid. Peyton’s beat him every time.”
As for Taylor, the junior grappler finished 4-2 in the tournament. After an opening round bye, Taylor fell in the second round against DeVonte Sanders of Blair Oaks in a close match 7-6. Then, after receiving a bye in the second-round of wrestlebacks, Taylor came back to win by fall over Stephen McDaniel of Priory in 2:23. Meanwhile, in third-round wrestlebacks, Taylor won by injury default over Beau Garrett of Moberly. Then, in the third place match, Taylor fell by a 9-4 decision against Sanders for the second time in the tournament.
Hahn said Taylor has come a long way since last year. “Dustyn won one match last year but this year he’s won close to 20 and he’s a state qualifier, so he’s stepped it up,” Hahn said.
Offineer has also stepped up his game since last year while wrestling behind Dalton Williams-a state qualifier at heavyweight for the Pirates in 2018-19.
Like Taylor, Offineer received a bye in the opening round. However, in the second round, Offineer won by a 4-0 decision over Joseph Bauer of Owensville. Meanwhile, after losing to Shane Gilmore of Blair Oaks in the semis by fall in 5:57, Offineer came back 5-0 decision in the bubble match against Riley Shive of Wright City 5-0. Then, in the third place match, Taylor lost by fall against Andrew Huff of Moberly in 1:34 to finish the tournament at 3-2.
“Gaige is close to winning 30 matches this year so he has obviously improved from last year after winning only four matches,” Hahn said. “Obviously, you want to place higher than fourth but both Gaige and Dustyn are happy getting to state and I am happy for them.”
The Pirates also had two other wrestlers in the bubble match at 170 and 182. Unfortunately for sophomore Travis Dell and senior Dakota Rapp, they had their seasons cut short.
Dell finished 3-2 in the tournament and 26-18 on the season, winning by fall in the first round against David Gibson of Fulton in 2:24. Meanwhile, after losing by a major decision in the second round against Parker Laudwig of Kirksville 14-5, Dell came back with a bye in the second round wrestlebacks and then won by a fall against Brynner Frankenberg of Borgia in 3:31. Dell also came close in the bubble match against Clark Freeman of Moberly but fell in a close match 10-9.
“Travis lost a heartbreaker in the bubble round after leading several times,” Hahn said. “The positive from that is that he’s there. I got to the seeding meeting next year and I will be talking Travis up and that he was one match from making it to state. Another thing, too, is that he loses this match and he talks to me in the hallway about wrestling over the summer. The passion is there but sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way.”
Hahn also felt bad for senior Dakota Rapp, who has now lost two years in a row in the bubble round.
Rapp finished 3-2 in the tournament and 27-19 on the season at 182. Of course no match was tougher to swallow than his opening match while losing by fall against JaDontae Ray in 5:36 after leading 12-0. However, after receiving a bye in first round of wrestlebacks, Rapp won his next-two matches by fall against Cross Mollerus of Orchard Farm in 3:24 and Cody Linders of Owensville in 3:00. Meanwhile, in the bubble match, Rapp lost a tough match against Deacon Haag of Mexico 19-13.
Hahn said it was a heartbreaker for Rapp losing his final match. “He’s a senior and has lost two years in a row in the bubble match,” Hahn said. “You want to see that kid win that match, but it just didn’t happen.”
In other matches, freshman Brayden Gamel went 1-2 in the 106 pound weight class. At 120, freshman Caleb Martin finished 2-2. At 138, junior Eric Bundy went 1-2. Meanwhile, at 145, junior Brayden McFarland finished 2-2 with a pin in wrestlebacks against Grant Avery of Fulton in 47 seconds.
All in all, Hahn said obviously he’s happy getting three to state but wanted more. “Obviously, I have high goals,” Hahn said. “I want to compete for district titles and conference titles and eventually somewhere in there state medals. But coming in here, we had only one returning state qualifier and got three in. I wanted to get all five in that were seeded but it didn’t happen.”