The Class 4 District 1 wrestling tournament, held at Parkway South this past weekend, is an emotional and trying event for all. In this tournament (and 3 others around the state) sixteen wrestlers from each weight class compete hoping to place in the top four spots and earn the opportunity to wrestle in the state tournament.
Oakville’s wrestlers came into the weekend with high hopes as many wrestlers were in the tenuous position of being right on the fringe, being ranked (or seeded) as between the 4th and 8th best wrestlers in the tournament. Upsets, however, are a common occurrence in district tournaments, so while wrestlers seeded lower than 4 attempted to win in a surprise upset, Oakville’s higher-ranked wrestlers came into the tournament knowing that there were many who had the goal of robbing them of that trip to state.
At the end of the second day of the two-day tournament, Oakville sent two of their wrestlers, sophomore Austin Neal (126 pounds) and senior Dominic O’Neil (138 pounds). Neal, who lost in the semifinals to Lafayette sophomore Alex Weir, rebounded to make it to the 3rd place match where he handily defeated SLUH senior Sean Mulligan. Neal enters the state tournament as a two seed where he wrestles Eureka senior Brendan Krask, with whom Neal has wrestled two matches that have both gone down to the last second. Should Neal win his 1st round match with Krask, he will wrestle Ke-Shawn Hayes, a 43-0 Junior from Park Hill in Kansas who is ranked #1 in the nation at his weight.
O’Neil, who is now making his third consecutive trip to Columbia, is hoping to finally earn that state medal. O’Neil advanced to the championship match of the district tournament where he fell to Jackson senior Tyler Rush. He goes into state in the 1st round against Francis Howell freshman Dylan Komperda. O’Neil defeated Komperda earlier this season in the semifinals of the Lindbergh tournament. Should O’Neil repeat this victory, he will face off against returning state champion, Nixa senior, Joe Veliquette.
The Tiger Wrestlers and coaching staff prepare for an exciting weekend at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO.