By Chris Parker & Zach Mason
It has been two years since southwest Missouri has brought home a state championship in Class 4.
Three wrestlers will take a crack at breaking that drought on Saturday.
Longtime coming for Waynesville’s Sax
Waynesville’s Sean Sax was a three-time state placer with two semifinal appearances coming into the Class 4 138-pound semifinal on Friday.
Now he will get his shot in a state championship match after beating Troy Buchanan’s Luke Hardy 2-1.
The match took a bit to develop with a scoreless first period before Sax scored a takedown in the second period.
“First period went by and there was no takedown, neither of us was on our best offense. Second period came and he was going go gas. I wasn’t going to gas, I keep coming until I see a weakness. And I saw it and took it. I took him down and rode him out, got a few cautions that I was a little careless on. Third period came and I was able to ride him out,” Sax said.
Now it is state championship or bust for the Tiger senior.
“State Champ…That’s the only way. It’s the only thing that will satisfy me,” Sax said.
He will face Staley’s Blake Berryman for the Class 4 138-pound championship on Saturday.
Sax’s teammate Micheal Cassidy also made it to the semifinals at 145 pounds. He came up on the short end of a 6-3 decision against Park Hill’s Josh Steele.
Patience pays off for Ozark’s Jace Gorn
Ozark’s Jace Gorn had a long wait between matches on Friday with his 285-pound semifinal bout against Ft. Zumwalt West’s Jordan Williams being the last match of the semifinals for any class.
Fortunately for Gorn, patience comes naturally.
The two wrestlers remained scoreless through the first period as they each looked for an opening that didn’t come.
“I like to pace myself, especially in heavyweight matches, that’s what I’ve been training to do all year. Just pace the first period and dominate the next two,” Gorn said.
Dominate he did.
The Ozark senior would control the next two period’s on the way to an 8-2 win and an appearance in the Class 4 285-pound championship match.
He will face one-loss Danny Conley from Chaminade on Saturday.
Lebanon’s Christian shows experience despite youth
Lebanon sophomore Trevor Christian was one of only two underclassmen in the Class 4 152-pound 16-man bracket.
That proved to be no issue at all for Christian as he moved his record to 50-2 with a 2-1 decision over CBC’s Will Edgar.
Christian’s first period takedown would prove to be all that he would need in the match.
“I knew I needed to get the first takedown because he’d try to get on top. I was able to get a lead and then ride him in the third,” Christian said.
He will face Francis Howell’s Peter Enos (48-2) for the Class 4 152-pound championship on Saturday.