Usually Mizzou Arena is filled with black and gold basketball fans...

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Usually Mizzou Arena is filled with black and gold basketball fans, but at the weekend's MSHSAA Wrestling Championships, colors from all schools were represented, including Waynesville's orange and black.

The high school Tigers fared well on the opening night of the tournament as six of eight tigers advanced to the quarterfinals bracket.

Opening Round Results:

Charles McNeal (106) def. Carter Wolfe (Timberland) by 11-3 major decision.

Isiaha Johnson (113) def. Jerry Stepps (Hazelwood) by 12-2 major decision.

Andrew Wallace (120) def. Jake Byrd (Jackson) by pin fall at 3:27.

Lemuel Johnson (126) def. Cannon Trester (Liberty) by pin fall at 0:57.

Todd Magoon (138) def. Tyler Rush (Jackson) by 1-0 decision.

Jacob Semple (HWT) def. Anthony Enriquez (Park Hill) by pin fall at 1:31.

David Hawk (152) and Hunter Sadler (170) were both defeated in the opening round, Hawk by 5-3 decision, Sadler by pin fall at 0:58.

After day one, Waynesville was left out of the top five schools.

Assistant coach John Kelley said, "It was pretty awesome getting six of eight [wrestlers] to quarterfinals, but also knowing they still have tough matches ahead of them."

"A lot of them have been there before, so they know how to take care of business," Kelley said.

With each advancing wrestler, Waynesville inched its way closer to a team title.


After a successful first round that generated six quarterfinalists for Waynesville, the second round produced some grueling battles that forced four of Waynesville's six wrestlers into the tournament's consolation bracket. Only L. Johnson and Semple moved on.

Match-by-match results:

(106) McNeal was taken down by Dalton Kenig (Blue Springs South) in the first round and was held to the ground before being defeated by pin fall at the end of the first round (1:59).

(113) I. Johnson was taken down by Alex Fortuna (Park Hill South) twice in the first round, but earned two stand-up points to tie the match at 4-2 before time was called. Starting form the bottom, Johnson scored two reversal points to tie the match at 4-all before the end of the second. In the bout's final round, Johnson was taken town and was nearly pinned with less than :30 seconds remaining, which resulted in 4 points for the opponent and an eventual 8-4 loss to Fortuna by decision.

(120) After sizing up Colby Smith (Holtzville), Wallace started fast with a takedown, which resulted in a near fall and 4 total points to take a 4-0 lead into the second round. Then, after the opponent took the down position, Wallace earned two more near-fall points to take a 6-0 lead, but Smith was relentless. He earned two points for a reversal, standing up, and then taking down Wallace to get the match to 6-5 at the end of the round. Wallace fought a brutal third round and injured Smith's head, which resulted in a time out. Out of the time out, Smith took the down position and almost immediately earned a reversal and a near fall to take the victory from Wallace's grasp, 9-6.

(126) L. Johnson worked quickly in the opening round of the tournament, and did the same in the quarterfinal round. The lightning fast match was finished by pin fall the :55 second mark as Johnson defeated Tyler Smith (Francis Howell north).

(138) Magoon battled Connor Flynn (Francis Howell) for the opening portion of the first round before allowing Flynn a takedown and a 2-0 lead. Magoon fought his way back by standing up and getting to within one point. Moments later, however, Magoon allowed a second takedown to Flynn, which resulted in a pin fall loss with :10 seconds left in the round.

(HWT) The final quarterfinalist, Semple, fought an excruciating first three rounds against Daniel Vaughn (Hazelwood West). After a first round filled with shoving and near takedowns ended in a stalemate, Semple took bottom and was able to stand up and take 1-0 lead into the third round. Then, Vaughn fought his way for a stand-up point to tie the match at 1-all. The two began battering each other across the mat and took the match into an overtime period. During overtime, Vaughn nearly scored a takedown, but Semple landed out of bounds to refute Vaughn's efforts. Eventually, overtime ended gridlocked. In double overtime, Semple was nearly taken down again, but this time was able to flip his on top of Vaughn and recorded a pin fall victory with :05 seconds left (7:26).

After only two of Waynesville's wrestlers advanced to the semifinal round, Kelley said that was "devastating."

"Realizing their state title hopes are over had to be tough for them, but know they have to come back through the consolation bracket keep getting team points," Kelley said.

Second Round Wrestlebacks Results:

(106) McNeal def. Kenig (Blue Springs) by 4-2 decision.

(113) I. Johnson def. Jake Woods (Lee's Summit West) by 6-2 decision.

(120) Wallace def. Andy Dierkes (Lindberg) by 8-2 decision.

(138) Magoon def. Louis West (William Chrisman) by pin fall at 4:47.


Awaiting in the bullpen, L. Johnson and Semple jumped around to keep their muscles warm for the ever important semifinal round of the MSHSAA Wrestling Championships. After minutes of suspense, L. Johnson took to the mat to wrestle Park Hill's No. 4-ranked Hunter Roberts.

After minutes of feeling each other out, Johnson took advantage of his opponent by scoring 3 points. That was all it took as he defeated Roberts in a 3-0 decision.

Waynesville's heavyweight semifinalist, Semple, ranked No. 1, was forced to battle Jefferson City's John Carter, who was previously ranked No. 1 in Missouri. The fight between the two student-athletes was finished quickly as Semple was pinned in :22 seconds and forced to the consolation bracket.

Waynesville's wrestlebacks competitors were all defeated in the consolation bracket, but I. Johnson and Magoon both received medals for fifth and sixth place finishes.

"Lemuel and Semple were both expected to be in the semifinals and finals," Kelley said, commending Lemuel for each of the previous rounds' pin fall victories. "Semple just got caught up in ties and the Jeff City kid just got the better of us."


In the final two wrestlebacks rounds of the weekend tournament, Semple won each by pin fall – over Randall Young (McCluer North) at the 2:25 mark and over Xyah Ra (Nixa) :21 seconds into the match. With each victory, Semple finished third to earn a well-deserved bronze medal.

The gold medal battle between L. Johnson and Nixa's Joe Velliquette was a rematch of a Jan. 8 battle between the foes that ended in a 1-0 decision in favor of Velliquette.

Saturday's final match was just as entertaining as the long match was fought well beyond the three regulation periods and into two overtime periods. All three ended in 0-0 stalemates, forcing an ultimate tiebreaker round.

In the end Velliquette escaped with a 1-0 UTB decision. Johnson was awarded the silver medal for his efforts.

Individual medalists include L. Johnson, second; Semple, third; I. Johnson, fifth; Magoon, sixth.

Final Team Results:

Park Hill, 156

Blue Springs, 124

Timberland, 96

Holt, 88

Park Hill South, 83

Waynesville, 71