John Oss is one victory away from a flawless record and a state championship. If he can do it by pin fall, he’ll consider that a nice bonus.
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Oss maintained his undefeated record Friday night, pinning McCluer North’s Josh Wheeler in the first round of the 170 semifinals. Oss faces Timberland sophomore Chance Cooper for the title Saturday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
“My goal all year has been to be an undefeated state champion,” Oss said. “Having pins at this point of the season just adds to it.”
Thus far, Oss has pinned all three of his state opponents in the first round.
Joining Oss in the finals tomorrow will be teammate Cody Lindsay (195). He’ll meet Matthew McClimens in the finals after pinning Kickapoo’s Tony Grant in 1:05 Friday night.
Nixa’s Joe Velliquette wrestles Waynesville’s Lemuel Johnson in the 126 finals. Velliquette won his semifinal match 13-4 on Friday night, while Johnson topped Park Hill’s Hunter Roberts 3-0.
Still, Velliquette said he has his sights set on broader goals.
“My goal isn’t to win the state tournament and beat everyone here,” Velliquette said. “I’m trying to win nationals and maybe face the bigger-name guys in the nation.
“I’m not just looking for a state title; I’m looking for a national title.”
Velliquette and Johnson split two close matches this season.
“He’s a friend of mine,” Johnson said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Kickapoo’s Micah Foote got a stunning third-period pin against Northwest (Cedar Hill) senior Devin Cagle to advance to the finals of the 220-pound division. Foote battles CBC’s Tim Gant.
“(Cagle) let me get my setup to my head and arm (hold),” Foote said. “The first time I didn’t get him with it, but I got up before he could get after his points. The second time, it felt super tight but I felt really confident. I threw it and it landed. I looked at the clock at that moment and saw time was running out. I knew if I let him up I was still going to win, but I was going to try to get the pin anyways.”
The pin was recorded with seven seconds left in the third period. Foote assumed he was headed for overtime.
“We didn’t really do much the whole match, a lot of scrambling from us trying to get our moves and getting out of there,” Foote said. “I saw the clock and saw there wasn’t much time left. I thought we were just going to stand around until overtime.”
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In Class 3, Neosho had seven wrestlers reach the winner’s semifinals. Only two, however, will compete for gold on Saturday – Nate Rodriquez (132) and Christian Lopez (220).
Lopez went to overtime to beat Hillsboro’s Jarad Sheppard in the semifinals. Rodriquez continued his tear through the 132 slate (three first-round pins), dispatching of Pacific’s Jeff Miller in 1:24 Friday night.
Lopez takes on McDonald County’s Jordan Moffett for the 220 championship.
Neosho’s five other semifinalists all lost, including Aaron Clardy in 285. With the match tied 2-2, Staley’s Bailey Sutko scored a late-third period takedown to beat Clardy.
“We let adversity kind of get to us at times,” said Neosho coach Jeremy Phillips. “I told them going in, it wasn’t matter of if adversity would hit but when. We’ve gotta battle back as a team and finish, that’s the key. (Saturday), they’ll all be close matches. Every match will be close. It’ll be a matter of winning the close wins and scoring bonus points when we can.
The Wildcats still stand a chance for a team title. They trail Kearney by just 2.5 points entering Saturday’s final action.
Elsewhere in Class 3, Carthage senior Trevor Feagans will go for the 138 championship.
Other Class 3 and 4 wrestlers to fall in the semifinals Friday were:
- Kyler Rea, 106, Neosho
- River Buttram, 120, Neosho
- Kyle Hostetter, 145, Neosho
- Sam Williams, 152, Neosho
- Xyah Ra, 285, Nixa
- Jacob Semple, 285, Waynesville
Class 3 team scores
1. Kearney 118.5 2. Neosho 116.0 3. Staley 97.0 4. Warrensburg 74.5 5. Platte County 70.0 6. Washington 57.5 7. Oak Park 56.5 8. Hannibal 53.0 9. Carthage 47.0 10. Farmington 46.0
Class 4 team scores
1. Park Hill 116.0 2. Blue Springs 96.5 3. Timberland 88.0 4. Holt 69.5 5. Park Hill South 62.0 6. Waynesville 59.0 7. Ozark 51.0 8. Seckman 47.5 9. Rock Bridge 46.5 10. Hickman 44.0 11. Nixa 42.0