MHS Wrestling

Spoofhound wrestling, front from left: Gavan Gonzales, Aickley Nicholson, Kort Watkins, Drew Spire, Maven Vette, Dylan Meyer, Braden Wallace; second row; Dayn Henderson, Tanner Turner, Tucker Turner, Gavin McAtee, Canon Creason, Riley Gonzales; third row; Preston Adwell, Gus McCollough, Erich McEwen, Zeke Adamson and Macen Shurvington. Not pictured: Colten Berry.

The first step to having a top-tier wrestling team is simply have the numbers to fill out the weight classes and be able to battle in dual meets.

“Definitely a lot of freshmen incoming and a lot of lighter weight classes that we didn’t have last year,” Maryville coach Dallas Barrett said.

The Spoofhounds also benefit from having their lone senior Drew Spire being a proven winner.

The 160-pound wrestler last season finished one win away from a state medal last season and returns with that goal in mind.

“I’m hoping this year I can make it to state and place at state,” Spire said. “Two out of three years qualifying for state and now on to my fourth, so hopefully I can punch a ticket and get a medal.”

He also returns ready to set the example for the younger wrestlers on the team.

“He is definitely someone who has been there and has the experience all the way through youth to help teach and lead,” Barrett said. “It is definitely very valuable.”

Around Spire in the lineup are several wrestlers who gained experience last year. The most decorated of those is junior Kort Watkins.

The heavyweight wrestler came up one match short of making it to state, losing to the eventual state champion.

“Losing in the bubble match two years in a row has been pretty devastating really, so I am ready to go to state,” Watkins said.

Erich McEwen and Zeke Adamson also made the sectional round last season.

“Last year was a building year,” Barrett said. “This year is going to be a building year again with a lot of underclassmen and younger guys, but just to have all those guys have a year of experience, that is going to help wrestling-wise.”

Aikley Nicholson, Maven Vette, Tucker Turner and Tanner Turner all add experience to the Spoofhound lineup.

“Aikley Nicholson was a freshman last year who was kind of skittish to wrestle,” Watkins said. “But he has worked hard over the summer.”

With 19 wrestlers, Barrett is happy with where the team is currently at as they prepare for their season.

“It definitely helps to have full weight classes,” Barrett said. “Giving away points isn’t a way to win duals.”

The season begins on Thursday, Dec. 2, when the Spoofhounds travel to Clarinda, Iowa to face Griswold, Albany and Clarinda. Action begins at 5:30 p.m.

“Team-wise, I hope that if we do fill up all of our weight classes that we win almost every dual and quad we are at,” Spire said. “Last year, we only lost a handful and gave up those points that we gave up because we didn’t have anybody.”