Maryville Wrestling Ends Season 32 In State

Maryville Spoofhounds competed at the state wrestling championship and finished 32 out of 42 teams in class 2.

Maryville wrestling gained tremendous amounts of experience throughout the season, none better than returning all six state qualifiers. Of the six wrestlers to make state, Kade Wilmes was the only to medal at the tournament.

Being without coaches Kody Koster and Riley Klein due to suspensions, the ‘Hounds needed to fill a void. In came former Maryville wrestling coach Joe Drake. Drake served as the interim head coach for the state tournament in Kosters’ absence. This was Drake’s first time coaching since his retirement in 2014 after a 40-year stint with Maryville.

“I was uncertain about it, because I had not really been around these guys all season,” Drake said. “I assumed things would be difficult to transition in such a short period for the wrestlers. I’m glad I decided to take the opportunity because these are a special group of guys.”

The Spoofhounds started out the tournament on a slow note with five of six wrestlers dropping their first-round bouts. Connor Weiss was the lone wrestler to pick up a win in the first round. Weiss emphasized the importance of winning in the first round.

“It is really important to go out and take care of business in the first round, so you do not have to wrestle as many matches with wrestlebacks,” Weiss said.

Maryville was able to go into Day two of the tournament with four wrestlers still in play after wrestlebacks. Junior Gaven Gray-Walker, sophomores Connor Weiss and Kade Wilmes, and freshman Drew Spire all kept their medal dreams alive. Wilmes was the only wrestler who was able to advance through the first two days of the tournament for the Spoofhounds.

Wilmes was able to come out of the tournament placing sixth as the ‘Hounds only medalist at the tournament. Gray-Walker just missed a spot on the podium with a 7-0 loss to end his tournament.

“I am glad that I made it farther in the tournament this year,” Wilmes said. “It was a pretty big bonus getting on the podium and bringing a medal back home.”

Even with all the excitement of reaching the podium and a medal, Wilmes had much more to think about.

“At this point, all I can think about is getting back here next year and improving my overall ability on the mat,” Wilmes said. “We have a lot to look forward too since we are bringing this group of guys next year. The more we can experience out on the mat, the better.”

Drake praised the ability of the wrestlers to fight through the adversity that arose and that “no-quit” mentality that every one of them brought to Columbia with them.

“Everyone should be pleased with how these guys performed this weekend,” Drake said. “They went out on the mat and left everything they had there. They gave it their all, and that is all you can ask as a coach.”

Maryville wrestling made big strides this past season sending six wrestlers to the state tournament. Bringing back six wrestlers with state experience will help change the culture around the team as a whole. With Koster’s suspension for reasons unknown The Missourian, there are some questions around the program and what will come in the future.

The Spoofhounds are coming off of one of their best seasons in recent memory which points to a potentially successful future ahead.

“The future for this program is something to look forward to with this group of guys,” Drake said.

Maryville wrestling gained tremendous amounts of experience throughout the season, none better than returning all six state qualifiers. Of the six wrestlers to make state, Kade Wilmes was the only to medal at the tournament.

Being without coaches Kody Koster and Riley Klein due to suspensions, the ‘Hounds needed to fill a void. In came former Maryville wrestling coach Joe Drake. Drake served as the interim head coach for the state tournament in Kosters’ absence. This was Drake’s first time coaching since his retirement in 2014 after a 40-year stint with Maryville.

“I was uncertain about it, because I had not really been around these guys all season,” Drake said. “I assumed things would be difficult to transition in such a short period for the wrestlers. I’m glad I decided to take the opportunity because these are a special group of guys.”

The Spoofhounds started out the tournament on a slow note with five of six wrestlers dropping their first-round bouts. Connor Weiss was the lone wrestler to pick up a win in the first round. Weiss emphasized the importance of winning in the first round.

“It is really important to go out and take care of business in the first round, so you do not have to wrestle as many matches with wrestle backs,” Weiss said.

Maryville was able to go into Day two of the tournament with four wrestlers still in play after wrestle backs. Junior Gaven Gray-Walker, sophomores Connor Weiss and Kade Wilmes, and freshman Drew Spire all kept their medal dreams alive. Wilmes was the only wrestler who was able to advance through the first two days of the tournament for the Spoofhounds.

Wilmes was able to come out of the tournament placing sixth as the ‘Hounds only medalist at the tournament. Gray-Walker just missed a spot on the podium with a 7-0 loss to end his tournament.

“I am glad that I made it farther in the tournament this year,” Wilmes said. “It was a pretty big bonus getting on the podium and bringing a medal back home.”

Even with all the excitement of reaching the podium and a medal, Wilmes had much more to think about.

“At this point, all I can think about is getting back here next year and improving my overall ability on the mat,” Wilmes said. “We have a lot to look forward too since we are bringing this group of guys next year. The more we can experience out on the mat, the better.”

Drake praised the ability of the wrestlers to fight through the adversity that arose and that “no-quit” mentality that every one of them brought to Columbia with them.

“Everyone should be pleased with how these guys performed this weekend,” Drake said. “They went out on the mat and left everything they had there. They gave it their all, and that is all you can ask as a coach.”

Maryville wrestling made big strides this past season sending six wrestlers to the state tournament. Bringing back six wrestlers with state experience will help change the culture around the team as a whole. With Koster’s suspension for reasons unknown The Missourian, there are some questions around the program and what will come in the future.

The Spoofhounds are coming off of one of their best seasons in recent memory which points to a potentially successful future ahead.

“The future for this program is something to look forward to with this group of guys,” Drake said.

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