The Class 4 District 3 wrestling tournament will be at Lee's Summit West in Kansas City
Eleven of 12 Waynesville Tigers finished All-Conference last weekend in the Ozark Conference wrestling tournament, building serious momentum heading into Saturday’s Class 4 District 3 tournament at Lee’s Summit West in Kansas City.
Six Tigers wrestled in the finals and five — Chance Carmack (106 pounds), Sean Sax (126), Peter Lucitt (145), Devon Stearns (182) and Andrew Leitold (heavyweight) — were crowned conference champs. Gaven Sax finished second at 120 pounds while Thomas Brady (106), Colby Carmack (170) and Daniel Rodrigues (220) all finished third. Daniel Albrecht nabbed a fourth-place finish at 152 as did Floyd Moore at 160.
Lebanon was Ozark Conference team champs with 200.5 team points followed by the Tigers (174). Sean Sax was the conference’s Wrestler of the Year for the second season in a row.
Waynesville coach Lucas Smith said the Ozark Conference Tournament was very productive but the district tournament is where the heat gets turned up a notch.
“This week is going to be a little bit different,” Smith said. “We’ve got a little bit more competition and a lot of different guys we’re going to see. It’s going to be a battle.”
Senior Peter Lucitt, a state qualifier and district champion last year, said he’s comfortable and ready to go.
“My goal isn’t to be conference champ or district champ,” Lucitt said. “My goal is to be state champ. So, I look further than that.”
Other than Lucitt, Sean Sax was a district champion while Chance Carmack (second place at 106) and Teyler Bruch (third at 132) were All-District last season.
Bruch wasn’t able to wrestle at conference due to sickness.
He said he spent the week recovering and is ready to come back strong, mentally and physically, for districts.
“Over the years I’ve gone over all my mistakes [with] coach,” Bruch said. “I’ve just got to keep fighting for six minutes and fight hard.”
Colby Carmack is looking forward to his first shot at qualifying for state in two years as he was out all last season with a torn labrum.
Despite a successful surgery, the shoulder has still been giving him troubles.
“Have to stay healthy,” Carmack said. “I’ve been dealing with a shoulder injury most of the year. I’m just now getting healthy and feeling better. I’m getting hot at the right time so I’m trying to go place at districts and qualify for state.”
With 11 All-Conference wrestlers, the Tigers are optimistic for a good number of district placers and state qualifiers as well. Maybe even more than that.
“My mindset’s not just to qualify or place but to go win it all,” Carmack said. “That’s how I’m thinking.”
However, some are trying not to allow the situation to get bigger than it needs to be.
“The goal isn’t just to qualify, it’s also to have fun,” Bruch said. “We all want to qualify but we need to have fun doing it also.”