Tuesday, Feb. 19 2013 3:40PM
Sophomore at second
By Stephanie Yeagle
Lee’s Summit West sophomore Austin Eveler had one goal in mind going into the Class 4 MSHSAA Wrestling Championships Feb. 14-16 at Mizzou Arena, Columbia.
The 120-pound grappler qualified for state last season, but didn’t place. This season was a different outcome however, as Eveler brought home a silver medal.
“It’s definitely better than last year,” Eveler said. “It still hurts, but I will be back here next year.”
Eveler worked his way through the rounds, decision by decision, winning the first round by a 21-5 technical fall over Lindbergh’s Andy Dierkes, the quarterfinals by an 8-3 decision over Lee’s Summit’s Alan Olivas and the semifinals in a 10-8 overtime decision over Timberland’s Devan Richter.
“He did very, very well,” Lee’s Summit West head coach Ethan Hauck said. “He’s been such a competitive wrestler all year and he really put it together for this tournament and wrestled well. He fell short of his goal of winning it, but boy, that semifinal match was just very special. That’s two weekends in a row that he has been down in the semifinals and come back and won in a very dramatic fashion. He’s becoming one of those people that you just can’t count him out.”
In the championship match against Holt’s Colby Smith, Eveler started out the first period with a takedown to earn a 2-0 lead. Smith earned an escape to make the score 2-1 going into the second period. The second period belonged to Smith though, as he got a reversal and a takedown to gain a 5-2 advantage. In the third period, Smith got another takedown to capture the 7-2 victory.
“I have improved with my skills and I thought I was going to get it done, but unfortunately I didn’t,” Eveler said.
Eveler ends the season with a 50-5 record.
“Overall, I think it was a very good season,” he said. “I beat some pretty good kids and set some school records too. I got 100 takedowns (in a season) and that’s a pretty big deal for our school.”
And since he has two years of high school wrestling to go, Eveler knows he still has a chance to capture that state championship.
“I’m going to train hard for next summer,” Eveler said. “I’m going to improve on what I need to and work to get back into that finals match. I’ll be back.”
The Titans earned 29th place in Class 4 with a team score of 21.5 points with three other state qualifiers, freshman Jake Woods at 113 pounds, freshman Lawyer Beckum at 132 pounds and sophomore Tyler Nelson at 170 pounds.
“It was a venue at state where these young guys got some really good experience,” Hauck said.
All three lost their first rounds, but Woods and Nelson both won their first round wrestlebacks. Woods defeated Fort Osage’s Carter Behler by a 6-0 decision and Nelson beat Oakville’s Dan Zehnie 10-3. Woods and Nelson lost their second round wrestlebacks.
“I think the future is very bright for Lee’s Summit West wrestling,” Hauck said.
Lee’s Summit took 26th with a team score of 23 points and brought home one medalist as senior Logan Drake earned fifth at 285 pounds.
Drake lost the first round by a 5-2 decision to Nixa’s Xyah Ra, but won by forfeit in the first round wrestlebacks over St. Louis University’s Sam Wilhelm. Drake then won by a 7-2 tiebreaker over Mehlville’s Jimmy Sellers in the second round wrestlebacks and won by a 3-2 decision over Hazelwood West’s Daniel Vaughn in third round wrestlebacks.
In fourth round wrestlebacks, Drake faced Ra again, losing by fall in 4 minutes, 5 seconds. Drake won fifth place by medical forfeit over McCluer North’s Randall Young.
“Logan won two really close matches at the tournament,” Lee’s Summit head coach Jay McGovern said. “One of the matches went into overtime and the other Logan was down one point with five seconds left and Logan scored a two-point reversal to win the match. Logan just finds ways to battle and win close matches which is what you have to do at the state tournament.”
The Tigers had three other state qualifiers, including junior Olivas at 120 pounds, senior Coulter Allen at 138 pounds and sophomore Brady Daniels at 152 pounds. All three won their first round matches as Olivas defeated Francis Howell’s Nick McGhee by a 12-8 decision, Allen beat Hazelwood Central’s Joseph Shell by fall in 3:54 and Daniels defeated Lindbergh’s Jack Korenak by 6-4 in overtime.
Olivas, Allen and Daniels lost their quarterfinal matches. Olivas lost his second round wrestlebacks, but Allen won his third round wrestlebacks by a 12-1 major decision over Holt’s Brendan Bickert and Daniels won his third round wrestlebacks over Hazelwood Central’s Terell Mosley by a 2-0 decision. Both Allen and Daniels ended their state run in third round wrestlebacks.
Lee’s Summit North finished in 38th with a team score of seven points with two state qualifiers, freshman Austin Hanson at 106 pounds and sophomore Keegan McCormick at 132 pounds.
Hanson lost his first round, but beat Raymore-Peculiar’s Miles Robinson by a 4-0 decision in the first round wrestlebacks. Hanson lost the second round wrestlebacks. McCormick won the first round by fall in 1:32 over Lafayette Wildwood’s Alec Reid, but lost the quarterfinal match. McCormick then won the second round wrestlebacks by a 12-4 major decision over Kirkwood’s Sam Toigo, but lost the third round wrestlebacks.