Lebanon wrestling dominates Nixa Girls Invitational

By Scott Vanscoy (For OzarksSportsZone.com)

Nixa, MO – The Lebanon Yellowjackets girls wrestling program continued its winning ways on Wednesday night when they took the 2nd Annual Nixa Girls Invitational by a commanding 57-point margin. Last year the Nixa Invitational had 39 participants. This year, 18 schools participated, bringing the number of wrestlers to 109, along with 50 junior high girls.

The Yellowjackets were led by senior Carolyn Sterner, who pinned her opponent in the final round.

“This is my second year wrestling,” said Sterner. “It is really exciting and I am overwhelmed with getting a varsity spot again this year and winning 8-0. The goal for my season is to win state and go all the way and win Nationals again, then go to college and do the same thing.”

Lebanon also had three underclassmen win individual first-place medals, Adeline Cottingin, Antionna Cunningham, and Ashlynn Loechner. Last year’s state runner up, Cunningham, has her sights set on first place this season.

“This is my second year of wrestling,” said Cunningham. “I’ve been wrestling differently from how I did last year, and I’m winning. I want to make it to state and win. Last year I was runner-up and this year I want to win it, and it is going to take lots and lots of hard work and practice.”

Cottingin, a freshman, is in her first year of wrestling but she has watched her older brothers wrestle at the varsity level so she is familiar with the wrestling scene.

“This is my third tournament and I’ve medaled in every single one of them,” said Cottingin. “I’m excited and I’m proud to be part of the Lebanon community. My goal is to go as far as I can in the sport of wrestling and hopefully have it help to pay for college a bit. I’m planning to go far in the sport, like my older brothers. I’m following in their footsteps and I have a big legacy to fill.”


Other medalists included Nixa freshman Kirsten Fugitt and Branson junior Erin Bohmont.

Fugitt, in her first year, has had success and is looking forward to continue her winning ways.

“It is my first season and it has been pretty good so far, I’ve only lost once,” said Fugitt. “I wasn’t sure I’d be this successful in my first year; I have brothers that wrestle so I’ve been around it my whole life but I’d never actually done it. My goal is to make it to state.”

Bohmont, one of the more experienced wrestlers at the Invitational, wrestled against the boys her first year.

“This is probably my eighth or ninth year of wrestling,” said Bohmont. “Being more experienced helps a lot, you know more and you are more used to it, but a lot of the girls who have been wrestling have been pretty good. Boys are a lot bigger and stronger and I have to use more skill on them; wrestling girls I can use my strength as well, and it works.”

Lebanon coach Matt Neely has coached wrestling for 12 years and is looking to defend last year’s state title, the first sanctioned by MSHSAA for girls.

“Having coached wrestling for 12 years, I can say there is definitely a difference between coaching boys and girls,” said Neely. “Girls’ bodies work differently so you have to apply the moves in a different manner for the girls than you would for the boys. It is about technique. We just hit the fundamentals really hard, we don’t really do anything fancy, we just hit the fundamentals. We harp on them pretty hard and once you’ve got that down, it’s easy to go ahead and win.”

Lebanon is looking to continue their winning ways all the way to state.

“Our goal is to win the state title again,” said Neely. “I think we can do it. Our confidence is high and in wrestling, confidence and aggression are two things you can win matches on, even if your technique is really bad. The mental side of the sport we hit on every day… every day.”

Team Scores
1. Lebanon – 276.5
2. Nixa – 219.5
3. Buffalo – 170.0
4. Monett – 136.0
5. Branson – 122.0
6. West Plains – 121.0
7. Marshfield – 96.0
8. Cassville – 93.5
9. Nevada – 58.0
10. Camdenton – 46.0
11. Neosho – 32.0
12. Diamond – 31.0
13. Kickapoo – 27.0
14. Seneca – 24.0
15. Bolivar – 23.0
16. Willard – 13.0
17. Parkview – 11.0
18. Reeds Spring – 10.0

High School – 103
1st Place – Ashlyn Eli of Nixa
2nd Place – Emily Waters of Buffalo
3rd Place – Ella Stidham of Buffalo
4th Place – Becca Waterman of Parkview

High School – 110
1st Place – Abigail Jastal of Monett
2nd Place – Katie Waters of Buffalo
3rd Place – Micah Ballew of Nixa
4th Place – Rayley Sutton of Lebanon

High School – 115
1st Place – Ashlynn Loechner of Lebanon
2nd Place – Taylor Mustain of Camdenton
3rd Place – Kailey Artherton of Cassville
4th Place – Sarah King of Branson

High School – 120
1st Place – Adeline Cottongim of Lebanon
2nd Place – Bri Moody of Diamond
3rd Place – Natalie Stewart of West Plains
4th Place – Teresa Dawn of Nevada

High School – 125
1st Place – Lizzie Miller of Buffalo
2nd Place – Kaylyn Rogers of Lebanon
3rd Place – Jorden Woods of West Plains
4th Place – Neah Finkbone of Branson

High School – 130
1st Place – Kirsten Fugitt of Nixa
2nd Place – Lianna Ward of West Plains
3rd Place – Liberty Cornell of Seneca
4th Place – Maggie Meyer of Seneca

High School – 135
1st Place – Skyler Maverick of Buffalo
2nd Place – Lotus Van Dyk of Nevada
3rd Place – Janeth Quinones of Monett
4th Place – Darby Neely of Lebanon

High School – 142
1st Place – Antionna Cunningham of Lebanon
2nd Place – Mia Daugherty of Kickapoo
3rd Place – Taylor Johnson of Lebanon
4th Place – Jazmine Schwark of Branson

High School – 152
1st Place – Erin Bohmont of Branson
2nd Place – Talora Frisbee of Lebanon
3rd Place – Alexis Grothe of Nixa
4th Place – Madisyn Jones of Buffalo

High School – 166
1st Place – Jada Watson of Buffalo
2nd Place – Harmony Rust of Nixa
3rd Place – Heather Lippincott of Bolivar
4th Place – Lexi Adams of Willard

High School – 187
1st Place – Carolyn Sterner of Lebanon
2nd Place – Bailey Shockley of Lebanon
3rd Place – Honnalee Hunt of Buffalo
4th Place – Heather Villa-Torres of Branson

High School – 235
1st Place – Madison Good of Branson
2nd Place – MaKenna Dunham of Lebanon
3rd Place – Madison Easter of West Plains
4th Place – Claire Pritchett of Nevada

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