Warrenton sends nine wrestlers to the Missouri state tournament

By Tim Schmidt, Publisher
Posted 2/22/24

The Warrenton High School Warriors will have nine teammates competing at the MSHSAA state tournament at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, MO.

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Warrenton sends nine wrestlers to the Missouri state tournament


With six returning state qualifiers, Clayton Olsson had high hopes for his Warrenton boys wrestling team at the Class 3, District 2 Tournament.

But watching nine Warriors earn a berth to this week’s state championships definitely exceeded his expectations.

“Our district is very competitive, especially in the lower weight classes,” Olsson remarked. “Even some of our returning guys were going to have to battle to earn their way back to state. In this sport, nothing is guaranteed, you have to earn everything and our guys rose to the challenge.”

Indeed, Warrenton made program history in the process. The nine grapplers are the most the Warriors have sent to state in a single season.

Zayden Teson and Jacob Ruff captured individual district titles at 106 and 215 pounds, respectively, while Manny McCauley (113) and Noah Lohrmann (138) each placed second. Joshua Kassing (132) was the lone wrestler to earn a third-place medal while Jeremiah Kassing (126), Max Teson (144), Korben Johnson (165) and Elias McPike (285) each finished in fourth.

The nine wrestlers will compete at state this Feb. 23 and Feb. 24 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.

In the team standings, Warrenton placed third out of 16 schools with 183 points. Hannibal won the district crown with 1211.5 points, followed by runner-up Fort Zumwalt South with 195.5 points. North Point (152.5) and Whitfield (142) rounded out the top five.

“Our coaching staff is incredibly proud of their performance this week,” Olsson said. “We tell them all year that it’s not about winning and losing, it’s about getting better each and every match and putting forth their best effort every time they step on the mat. We told them that if they do the little things right eventually, the good results will come. They were rewarded for their hard work this weekend.”

Ruff continued his march toward a state title. He pinned his first three opponents in the first period and defeated Zumwalt South’s Mason Clark by technical fall in the 215-pound championship match.

Now sporting a 45-0 record in his senior season, Ruff is prepared to make a run after falling in the state title match a year ago.

“Jacob has been working all year to put himself in a position to win a championship and now he’s there,” Olsson said. “He’s going to have some big matches, but as long as he wrestles his style and keeps the same mental focus that he’s had all year,” then I have no doubt that he has what it takes to be a state champion.”

Other Warriors returning to state are Lohrmann, who placed sixth last year, and the Kassing brothers.

“All of them have their eyes set on a state medal and rightfully so,” Olsson said. “They are all capable of bringing home medals, and if you ask them, they won’t be satisfied with anything less.”

The rest of the Warriors who qualified — Zayden Teson, Max Teson, Johnson and McPike — will be competing at state the first time.

“The state tournament can be overwhelming the first time you are there,” Olsson said. “This will be a valuable learning experience for them, and an opportunity for them to measure themselves against the best in the state. Many of them are big underdogs in the tournament, but in this sport if you wrestle hard anything can happen. So we are looking for them to battle hard, win a few matches and show the rest of the state what they are capable of.”

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