McDonald County wrestling wins two individual state titles

By Pat Dailey (For

COLUMBIA — Tears flowed from McDonald County’s Sam Murphy after his drama-filled junior season ended with him being crowned the Class 3 215-pound champion at the State Wrestling Championships on Saturday.

Murphy (44-1) edged Branson’s Cade Grimm (41-4) in sudden victory 6-1, thanks to a takedown and near-fall.

Murphy dedicated his championship in honor of his older brother, Jeremy, and one of his best friends, Bradley Skaggs. They were killed two weeks apart in November

“I got that takedown and started thinking of them and was doing it for them,” Murphy said. “I couldn’t hold in (the emotions) anymore. It’s been a roller-coaster year. It pushed me way harder than I’ve ever been pushed before emotionally and mentally. I was at a point where I just wanted to give up. I never want anybody to have to go through that.”

“I’m so proud of Sam,” said McDonald County 285-pounder Jayce Hitt who also won a state championship. “We tried to be there for him. He’s a great guy and has a great heart. He deserves this. It’s a great feeling to see him go through all that adversity and come through and win.”


Jeremy, Murphy who was more than 30 years older than Sam, was murdered in a double-homicide during a shooting at a residence on November 28 in Baxter Springs, Kansas.

“He was my big brother, but old enough to be my Dad,” Murphy said. “He was a great guy. It was one of those things, wrong place and wrong time.”

Jeremy Murphy’s prep career at McDonald County saw him shine in track. He holds school records from the 1990s that still stand.

Skaggs died at the age of 18 on November 15, when the tow truck he was driving rolled over in a crash on Interstate 44 in Joplin.

Murphy and Hitt were wrestling in the final round simultaneously on adjacent matches. During a break in his match, Murphy was able to see Hitt (26-0) pin DeSoto’s Isaac Frazier (41-2) in 1:42.

“I heard a big thump on the mat, saw him get that pin and something inside of me sparked,” Murphy said. “I was like, ‘My practice partner and one of my best friends just won a state title, now it’s my turn.’”

Hitt has endured adversity, as well. He’s dealt with a recurring injury to his right foot all winter.

“It’s still bothering me,” he said. “The trainer I had look at it said it might need surgery, but said I could wrestle through it.”

Hitt celebrated his championship with a cartwheel and flip.

“I’ve been practicing that and telling my friends I would do it whenever I would win a state championship,” Hitt said. “I thought I would show that off. I finally got to do it. It was awesome. I’ve been dreaming of this my whole life. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Pair of Liberators finish as runners-up

Bolivar seniors Riley Beckman and Trey Brewer both closed out their senior seasons by taking second.

Beckman (42-4) was pinned in 3:01 by Hillsboro’s Sam Richardson (37-4) in the 157 final

Brewer (38-2) fell 3-1 to Jefferson City Helias Catholic’s Logan Montoya (48-1) in the 175 title match.


Tigers’ Caldwell runner-up at 144

Willard’s Caleb Caldwell (39-6) took second as a sophomore at 144. He lost in sudden victory 4-2 to Holt’s Logan Rubinstein (11-1).

Bulldogs’ Melton, Stewart both second

Carl Junction junior Sam Melton and sophomore Tony Stewart finished as runner-up.

Melton (43-6) placed second at 120. He dropped a 7-0 decision to North Point’s Kaden Purler (43-1) in the final round.

Stewart (41-12) was pinned in 2:16 in the 165 title tilt by Hillsboro’s Griffin Ray (44-3).


106 Class 3

1st Place – Carter Wallis of Hillsboro
2nd Place – Jackson Bassett of Whitfield
3rd Place – Austin Brown of Hannibal
4th Place – Carter Foglesong of Carl Junction
5th Place – Aiden Hahn of Farmington
6th Place – Bradley Hiteshew of Glendale

1st Place Match
Carter Wallis (Hillsboro) 43-3, Fr. over Jackson Bassett (Whitfield) 40-6, Fr. (MD 11-3)

3rd Place Match
Austin Brown (Hannibal) 41-8, Fr. over Carter Foglesong (Carl Junction) 41-6, So. (Dec 7-6)

5th Place Match
Aiden Hahn (Farmington) 34-8, Fr. over Bradley Hiteshew (Glendale) 33-6, So. (Dec 4-1)

113 Class 3

1st Place – Ryder Shelton of Kearney
2nd Place – Tristan Waters of Smithville
3rd Place – Reign Creech of Hannibal
4th Place – Lukas Walker of Carl Junction
5th Place – Timothy Link of Pacific
6th Place – Brenton Drummond of DeSoto

1st Place Match
Ryder Shelton (Kearney) 42-3, So. over Tristan Waters (Smithville) 30-7, Fr. (MD 8-0)

3rd Place Match
Reign Creech (Hannibal) 35-7, Jr. over Lukas Walker (Carl Junction) 46-3, Sr. (Dec 4-2)

5th Place Match
Timothy Link (Pacific) 37-8, So. over Brenton Drummond (DeSoto) 38-12, Fr. (Fall 1:45)

120 Class 3

1st Place – Kaden Purler of North Point
2nd Place – Sam Melton of Carl Junction
3rd Place – Presley Johnson of Farmington
4th Place – Jordan Penick of Hillsboro
5th Place – Jaden Lambert of Belton
6th Place – Yashua Amen of Whitfield

1st Place Match
Kaden Purler (North Point) 43-1, So. over Sam Melton (Carl Junction) 43-6, Jr. (Dec 7-0)

3rd Place Match
Presley Johnson (Farmington) 41-4, So. over Jordan Penick (Hillsboro) 35-12, So. (M. For.)

5th Place Match
Jaden Lambert (Belton) 40-10, Jr. over Yashua Amen (Whitfield) 36-11, So. (Dec 5-1)

126 Class 3

1st Place – Porter Matecki of Whitfield
2nd Place – Gavin Alexander of Hillsboro
3rd Place – Tristen Essig of Hannibal
4th Place – Carter Prenger of Helias Catholic
5th Place – Elijah Teiberis of Jefferson City
6th Place – Noah Lohrmann of Warrenton

1st Place Match
Porter Matecki (Whitfield) 41-2, Jr. over Gavin Alexander (Hillsboro) 38-5, Sr. (Dec 4-1)

3rd Place Match
Tristen Essig (Hannibal) 49-6, Jr. over Carter Prenger (Helias Catholic) 26-3, Sr. (Fall 4:48)

5th Place Match
Elijah Teiberis (Jefferson City) 34-12, Jr. over Noah Lohrmann (Warrenton) 37-16, So. (Dec 11-6)

132 Class 3

1st Place – Jackson Tucker of Hillsboro
2nd Place – Chad Benwell jr. of North Point
3rd Place – Caleb Carter of Whitfield
4th Place – Nicholas Chambers of Holt
5th Place – Chad Culp II of Hannibal
6th Place – Lane Cross of Belton

1st Place Match
Jackson Tucker (Hillsboro) 43-1, So. over Chad Benwell jr. (North Point) 26-4, So. (MD 14-6)

3rd Place Match
Caleb Carter (Whitfield) 40-10, So. over Nicholas Chambers (Holt) 37-7, Sr. (Dec 3-1)

5th Place Match
Chad Culp II (Hannibal) 28-7, Jr. over Lane Cross (Belton) 44-17, Sr. (Dec 5-2)

138 Class 3

1st Place – Alexander Rallo of Whitfield
2nd Place – Cody Culp of Hannibal
3rd Place – Blaine Ortiz of McDonald County
4th Place – Cooper Moore of Bolivar
5th Place – Kyshin Isringhausen of Branson
6th Place – Braden Werdehausen of Jefferson City

1st Place Match
Alexander Rallo (Whitfield) 44-5, Sr. over Cody Culp (Hannibal) 48-5, Jr. (Dec 6-0)

3rd Place Match
Blaine Ortiz (McDonald County) 43-7, Sr. over Cooper Moore (Bolivar) 32-6, So. (SV-1 6-1)

5th Place Match
Kyshin Isringhausen (Branson) 49-3, Sr. over Braden Werdehausen (Jefferson City) 37-6, Jr. (Dec 7-0)

144 Class 3

1st Place – Logan Rubinstein of Holt
2nd Place – Caleb Caldwell of Willard
3rd Place – Kayden Kinder of Rolla
4th Place – Jace Duemmel of Helias Catholic
5th Place – Rome Tate of Whitfield
6th Place – Austin Hunter of Ft. Zumwalt South

1st Place Match
Logan Rubinstein (Holt) 11-1, Jr. over Caleb Caldwell (Willard) 39-6, So. (SV-1 4-2)

3rd Place Match
Kayden Kinder (Rolla) 42-8, So. over Jace Duemmel (Helias Catholic) 42-6, Sr. (Dec 1-0)

5th Place Match
Rome Tate (Whitfield) 38-10, So. over Austin Hunter (Ft. Zumwalt South) 35-16, Jr. (Dec 4-1)

150 Class 3

1st Place – Noah Bourke of Whitfield
2nd Place – Alexander Hutchcraft of Smithville
3rd Place – Brady Littleton of Belton
4th Place – Joseph Kuster of Jefferson City
5th Place – Evan Morris of Hillsboro
6th Place – Jeric Gumahin of Ft. Zumwalt South

1st Place Match
Noah Bourke (Whitfield) 43-6, Sr. over Alexander Hutchcraft (Smithville) 42-7, Jr. (Dec 3-2)

3rd Place Match
Brady Littleton (Belton) 45-12, Sr. over Joseph Kuster (Jefferson City) 33-4, Sr. (Dec 3-0)

5th Place Match
Evan Morris (Hillsboro) 33-7, Sr. over Jeric Gumahin (Ft. Zumwalt South) 44-10, Jr. (Dec 6-3)

157 Class 3

1st Place – Sam Richardson of Hillsboro
2nd Place – Riley Beckman of Bolivar
3rd Place – Casey Olszowka of Washington
4th Place – Landon Littleton of Belton
5th Place – Eli Homan of Helias Catholic
6th Place – Darrius Paige of Van Horn

1st Place Match
Sam Richardson (Hillsboro) 37-4, Jr. over Riley Beckman (Bolivar) 42-4, Sr. (Fall 3:01)

3rd Place Match
Casey Olszowka (Washington) 53-3, Jr. over Landon Littleton (Belton) 47-10, Sr. (Dec 6-2)

5th Place Match
Eli Homan (Helias Catholic) 38-10, Fr. over Darrius Paige (Van Horn) 40-7, Jr. (Dec 6-3)

165 Class 3

1st Place – Griffin Ray of Hillsboro
2nd Place – Tony Stewart of Carl Junction
3rd Place – Gary Walker of Willard
4th Place – Jackson Sapp of North Point
5th Place – Andrew Peppin of Holt
6th Place – Quinten Attebury of Belton

1st Place Match
Griffin Ray (Hillsboro) 44-3, Sr. over Tony Stewart (Carl Junction) 41-12, So. (Fall 2:16)

3rd Place Match
Gary Walker (Willard) 36-4, Jr. over Jackson Sapp (North Point) 34-9, Sr. (Dec 2-1)

5th Place Match
Andrew Peppin (Holt) 34-12, Sr. over Quinten Attebury (Belton) 41-17, Fr. (MD 14-0)

175 Class 3

1st Place – Logan Montoya of Helias Catholic
2nd Place – Trey Brewer of Bolivar
3rd Place – Brice Henry of Windsor (Imperial)
4th Place – Rickson Taylor of DeSmet
5th Place – Jase Motlagh of Willard
6th Place – Colter Vick of McDonald County

1st Place Match
Logan Montoya (Helias Catholic) 48-1, Jr. over Trey Brewer (Bolivar) 38-2, Sr. (Dec 3-1)

3rd Place Match
Brice Henry (Windsor (Imperial)) 45-7, So. over Rickson Taylor (DeSmet) 39-6, Sr. (SV-1 6-4)

5th Place Match
Jase Motlagh (Willard) 34-11, Jr. over Colter Vick (McDonald County) 35-14, Sr. (Dec 5-0)

190 Class 3

1st Place – Luca Riley of Belton
2nd Place – Jacob Ruff of Warrenton
3rd Place – Blake Goodman of Bolivar
4th Place – Jakweli Gist of Kearney
5th Place – Caelin Stegmann of Rockwood Summit
6th Place – CJ Nelson of Van Horn

1st Place Match
Luca Riley (Belton) 52-4, Sr. over Jacob Ruff (Warrenton) 48-6, Jr. (Dec 8-4)

3rd Place Match
Blake Goodman (Bolivar) 47-3, Sr. over Jakweli Gist (Kearney) 22-9, Jr. (Dec 5-1)

5th Place Match
Caelin Stegmann (Rockwood Summit) 29-5, Sr. over CJ Nelson (Van Horn) 47-10, Jr. (Fall 0:43)

215 Class 3

1st Place – Samuel Murphy of McDonald County
2nd Place – Cade Grimm of Branson
3rd Place – Jake Fernandez of Platte County
4th Place – Ashton Phillips of DeSmet
5th Place – Richard Meyer of Holt
6th Place – Alex Nunez of Willard

1st Place Match
Samuel Murphy (McDonald County) 44-1, Jr. over Cade Grimm (Branson) 41-4, Sr. (SV-1 6-1)

3rd Place Match
Jake Fernandez (Platte County) 49-5, Jr. over Ashton Phillips (DeSmet) 21-8, Jr. (Dec 1-0)

5th Place Match
Richard Meyer (Holt) 34-9, Sr. over Alex Nunez (Willard) 27-12, So. (Dec 3-1)

285 Class 3

1st Place – Jayce Hitt of McDonald County
2nd Place – Isaac Foeller of DeSoto
3rd Place – Derek Joiner of Grandview
4th Place – Reyce Turner of Capital City
5th Place – Brady Griffin of Willard
6th Place – Cayden Bolinger of Carl Junction

1st Place Match
Jayce Hitt (McDonald County) 26-0, Jr. over Isaac Foeller (DeSoto) 41-2, Sr. (Fall 1:42)

3rd Place Match
Derek Joiner (Grandview) 28-2, Jr. over Reyce Turner (Capital City) 42-11, So. (Fall 1:46)

5th Place Match
Brady Griffin (Willard) 43-5, So. over Cayden Bolinger (Carl Junction) 31-15, Sr. (Dec 3-0)

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