COLUMBIA – The 81st annual MSHSAA Wrestling Championships began inside Mizzou Arena on Thursday with opening-round matches and wrestlebacks in all four classes.
As for Brentwood’s seven individual qualifiers and Maplewood Richmond Heights’ state trio in Class 1, only the Blue Devils’ Eduardo Verdia won his first-round matchup.
MRH’s 160-pound senior pinned Sherwood’s Jimmy Grant with one second remaining in the second period. Verdia (38-8) advances to Friday’s quarterfinal round, where he will meet Penney’s Matthew Scheiber (37-1) after his 10-second pin of Hogan’s Marquan Lane.
Also for the Blue Devils, 125-pound sophomore Montel Maggitt lost to Brookfield’s Jimmy Thomas by a 15-0 technical fall. Maggitt (38-5) bounced back to beat Brian Erstad of St. Mary’s by an 8-3 decision in the opening round of wrestlebacks.
At 189 pounds, sophomore LaVon Clark was pinned by Polo’s Justin Hicks in 30 seconds. Clark (14-13) remained alive in wrestlebacks with a pin in 2:42 against Tarkio’s Dakota Wooten.
All seven Eagles dropped their first-round bout, but sophomore Rashaad Jordan along with seniors Elie Moore and Ryan Jones each bounced back with a victory.
Jordan (21-10) lost by a 17-2 technical fall against Versailles’ Paul Janes at 112 pounds before pulling out a 12-10 decision over Stanberry’s Brian Noble.
Moore (31-16) dropped a 20-4 technical fall to Sherwood’s Matt Mattingley, but he followed that up with a narrow 7-6 decision against Lathrop’s Tyler Scobee at 140 pounds.
Jones (27-14) suffered a 9-2 setback to Zack McKinney of Knob Noster at 145 pounds before pinning Polo’s David Casey in 2:52.
As for the remaining Eagles, it was two losses and out.
Freshman Lucas Jones (23-20) was pinned by Cole Kemma of Blair Oaks in 1:24 and then lost by fall to Marceline’s John Dunham in 1:35 at 103 pounds.
Sophomore 135-pounder Mykell Hudsepth (18-11) was pinned by Lexington’s Drake Oetting in 3:26 before losing by 19-4 technical fall to Rock Port’s Codie Sloop.
Junior 152-pounder Tyler Jones (29-16) lost by fall to Brookfield’s Gary Lindsay in 22 seconds and Lawson’s Derek Blet in 38 seconds.
Sophomore heavyweight David Rivera (18-15) was pinned by Brookfield’s Derek Scates in 4:20 before falling to Adrian’s Christian Graham in 1:35.
The top team contenders for the Class 1 state championship are tied atop the standings after one day as Whitfield and Brookfield each scored 36 points. Blair Oaks is third with 28 points followed by Richmond in fourth with 25 points.
However, there is plenty of wrestling left beginning with the Class 1 quarterfinal round at 9:30 a.m., second-round wrestlebacks at 1:30 p.m., and semifinals and third-round wrestlebacks at 6 p.m. Friday.