By Kary Booher (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Think that longtime wrestling coach Kenneth Brown was smiling when he said this about Carthage High School’s 126-pound senior Dalen Moore?
“He can turn people,” Brown said, “like the pages of a book.”
Of course, the question is whether Moore, a takedown-and-pinning machine, will deliver something of a best-seller this season as he, with a key reinforcement, help continue raising Carthage’s wrestling profile.
Certainly, Carthage has a facility to grow its numbers. A year ago, the Tigers opened a 70 foot-by-70-foot room – part of a $10 million multipurpose complex. And now look:
Brown anticipates 80 on the roster. That includes 10 returning starters. Among them are six state qualifiers, including three who brought home state medals.
Moore is atop the must-watch list along with 195-pound Kale Schrader, a transfer from Seneca who was a Class 1 state runner-up in 2018, and 145-pound Kelten Campbell, a junior who placed fifth last year in Utah.
Moore was second on the team last year in takedowns -and has led the team in near-falls in each of the past three years. He placed fifth in 106 as a freshman, then third at 120 each of the past two seasons. He is a two-time Central Ozark Conference champion with a career record of 128-17, including 40-7 last year when he nearly advanced to the state championship match.
“He’s dominant from the neutral position,” Brown said. “He was just 20 seconds short of knocking off a four-time state champion (Kearney’s Clayton Singh) last season.”
Schrader was 49-4 and a state runner-up at 195 pounds in Class 1 last year.
“Kale is a huge pick-up for us this season since we graduated our 182, 195 and 220 last season,” Brown said.
Campbell was 15-8 in the 126-pound weight class last season for Altamont, Utah. Brown noted that Campbell did challenge himself by going to the elite Fargo, N.D., tournament this past summer.
The projected roster includes: sophomore Carlos Reyes and freshman Braxdon Tate at 106, junior Tanner Russow at 113, sophomore Dagan Sappington and junior Selvin Estrada at 120, junior Mitchell Frisinger and freshmen Brett Rockers and Eli Sneed at 132, junior Anderson Ixol at 138, senior Victor Salazar at 152, and juniors Brandon Crow and Trulyn Kendrick at 160.
The other returning state qualifiers are Sappington (25 wins at 106 despite a broken foot in football), Crow (31 wins at 152) and Brener Ocana (31 wins at 285).
Up to nine wrestlers are competing at 170, and another six at 220, including All-State linebacker Colton Winder. Look for junior Caleb Triplett at 182.
“Crow bounced between 152 and 160 all last year to help his team out,” Brown said. “We really need for him to step up this season and take on a leadership role.”
“He seemed to come into his own,” Brown said. “He has been having a good football season, and we are hoping that he can bring that confidence with him this season.”