Neosho wrestling sweeps duals with Nixa & Joplin

By Scott Vanscoy (For

The first week of wrestling season kicked off in fine fashion for the Neosho Wildcats as they won both of their dual meets at Nixa on Tuesday night. Neosho defeated the host Nixa Eagles by the score of 42-28, and defeated the Joplin Eagles, 71-12. In the third dual of the night, Nixa defeated Joplin, 72-12.

Even though Neosho won both of their duals in convincing fashion, head coach Jeremy Phillips sees room for improvement.

“We’ve got a lot to work on,” said Phillips. “We have to be coachable throughout our matches. It’s early in the season and we wrestled well on Saturday. I feel like we came out somewhat flat tonight and some of that goes back to our weight management. We had our first weigh-in Saturday and then some of the guys didn’t manage their weight well and I think it showed a little bit tonight with our gas tank.”

With wrestling being a sport involving technique, conditioning, and mental abilities, Coach Phillips stated that they have all three areas on which to improve.


“There’s a training triangle I believe in,” said Phillips. “There is your technique; your physical work, the gas tank and how hard can you go; and then the mental side. Watching us wrestling tonight, I can see that we’ve got to work on all of those things. There’s still some technical issues that we are dealing with, our gas tanks aren’t very well which again goes back to weight management, and the mental side of us being tough when we are tired. That comes from working in the practice room, being tough when we are tired.”

Neosho, who graduated quite a few seniors off of last year’s state runner-up team, is looking for leaders to step up. Senior Braxton Barnes showed that he is up for the challenge.

“These are our first two duals of the season,” said Barnes. “Coach is a great note-taker and he’s going to take some good notes for us and we’re going to get into the room and that’s going to help us finish this season, get us where we want to be, ultimately state champs. Being a leader is new to me. We’ve had a little bit of success in the Neosho program and I had those leaders growing up. Now that I’m a senior it is time for me to step up and take on my role as a leader.”

Nixa head coach Dustin Martin said that for his Eagles, the night was really a tale of two duals.

“We had Neosho coming in and they’ve won six out of the last seven state championships, a very high level team,” said Martin. “We kind of knew coming in that we were probably going to be a little short on points but our big message to our kids is to go out and compete in the matches, make them earn their wins.”

Coach Martin was impressed with his lighter weights and the way they competed.

“The lightweights are probably going to be our strength this year,” said Martin. “That is kind of the opposite of what we used to be, our upper weights used to be our strength. We won several matches in our lighter weights and I felt like we competed. We gave up a couple of falls in the middle and upper weights but I was really happy with the way we went out and made them earn every point they scored. In the Joplin dual we were a little the opposite on that; on paper I felt like we were maybe a little bit better team and our kids did a great job of going out and picking up falls.”

Joplin head coach Jeremy Finley, who is new to the program, is trying to build some consistency in his kids.

“I thought we gave really good effort against Neosho, and then against Nixa we came out kind of flat,” said Finley. “I think a lot of that has to do with our age, we are pretty young. We are starting quite a few freshmen and sophomores. We are trying to rebuild, trying to change the culture, trying to change things, and it is going to be a process getting there. We are starting from point one. We’ve got to get kids to believe in what we are trying to preach every day; working hard, coming to practice every day, no excuses. I think that’s the first step of building anything—changing the culture.”


Neosho 71 – Joplin 12

106 Nate Copeland (Neosho) over Rocky Walker (Joplin) (Fall 0:51)
113 Landon Kivett (Neosho) over Josiah Vaughn (Joplin) (Fall 1:31)
120 Brenden Evans (Joplin) over Hayden Crane (Neosho) (Fall 0:48)
126 Cade Daniel (Neosho) over Jack Stanley (Joplin) (Fall 4:33)
132 Kolton Sanders (Neosho) over Unknown (For.)
138 Noah Reiboldt (Neosho) over Unknown (For.)
145 Braxton Barnes (Neosho) over Brayden Williams (Joplin) (TF 20-5 4:24)
152 Alec Rothman (Neosho) over Joshua Harryman (Joplin) (Fall 1:30)
160 Keaton Sanders (Neosho) over Unknown (For.)
170 Jeremiah Larson (Neosho) over Brayden Thomas (Joplin) (Fall 3:03)
182 Erin Sneed (Joplin) over Jarrell Boettger (Neosho) (Fall 3:42)
195 Drayke Perry (Neosho) over Connor Brown (Joplin) (Fall 1:47)
220 Caleb Elliot (Neosho) over Unknown (For.)
285 Zane Persinger (Neosho) over Jacob Booe (Joplin) (Fall 5:01)
120 Exhibition: Jeramiah Kincaid (Neosho) over Reese Macios (Joplin) (Fall 1:02)
152 Exhibition: Josiah Morris (Joplin) over Brian Recinos (Neosho) (Fall 1:46)

Neosho 42 – Nixa 28
113: Deagan Fugitt (NIXA) over Hayden Crane (NEOSHO) (MD 10-1)
120: Cole Crahan (NIXA) over (NEOSHO) (For.)
126: Cade Daniel (NEOSHO) over Dylan Webster (NIXA) (Dec 4-0)
132: Kolton Sanders (NEOSHO) over Dylan Carter (NIXA) (Fall 1:40)
138: Ethan Shepherd (NIXA) over Noah Reiboldt (NEOSHO) (Dec 11-5)
145: Braxton Barnes (NEOSHO) over Dylan Rust (NIXA) (Fall 1:42)
152: Alec Rothman (NEOSHO) over Kolyn Eli (NIXA) (Dec 14-12)
160: Keaton Sanders (NEOSHO) over Joe Simmons (NIXA) (Fall 1:51)
170: Jeremiah Larson (NEOSHO) over Logan Lewis (NIXA) (Fall 2:31)
182: Marek Davis (NIXA) over Jarrell Boettger (NEOSHO) (Fall 1:04)
195: Caleb Elliot (NEOSHO) over (NIXA) (For.)
220: Zane Persinger (NEOSHO) over John Gholson (NIXA) (Fall 3:00)
285: Taylor Cheek (NIXA) over Joe Armstrong (NEOSHO) (Dec 9-4)
106: Peyton Moore (NIXA) over Landon Kivett (NEOSHO) (Fall 0:42)

Nixa 72 – Joplin 12
120: Cole Crahan (NIXA) over Brenden Evans (JOPLIN) (Fall 2:21)
126: Connor Swensen (NIXA) over Jack Stanley (JOPLIN) (Fall 5:50)
132: Dylan Carter (NIXA) over (JOPLIN) (For.)
138: Ethan Shepherd (NIXA) over (JOPLIN) (For.)
145: Brayden Williams (JOPLIN) over Dylan Rust (NIXA) (Fall 1:52)
152: Kolyn Eli (NIXA) over Joshua Harryman (JOPLIN) (Fall 1:03)
160: Joe Simmons (NIXA) over (JOPLIN) (For.)
170: Logan Lewis (NIXA) over Brayden Thomas (JOPLIN) (Fall 0:54)
182: Mason Barber (NIXA) over (JOPLIN) (For.)
195: Marek Davis (NIXA) over Connor Brown (JOPLIN) (Fall 0:20)
220: John Gholson (NIXA) over Gunner Price (JOPLIN) (Fall 0:35)
285: Jacob Booe (JOPLIN) over Taylor Cheek (NIXA) (Fall 1:24)
106: Peyton Moore (NIXA) over Rocky Walker (JOPLIN) (Fall 0:48)
113: Deagan Fugitt (NIXA) over Josiah Vaughn (JOPLIN) (Fall 1:40)