As the bulk of the Maryville wrestling season is now in the rearview mirror, the Spoofhounds have to adapt to the season as they prepare for the district tournament.
Inclement winter weather is known to wreak havoc on the schedules of all winter sports in Maryville. The Spoofhounds’ wrestlers are no strangers to these types of unforeseen circumstances as the latest tournament they participated in, the Sam Martin Invitational in Plattsburg, Missouri, was rescheduled from its original Jan. 12 date to Jan. 14.
Assistant coach Riley Klein explained having the tournament on a day when the kids were supposed to be in school may have been a distraction.
“I think having the tournament on Monday threw everyone off too because they are used to being in school,” Klein said. “We came out a little flat-footed and started to wake up there toward the end, but by then it was too little too late.”
Sophomore Connor Weiss, who qualified for the Class 2 State tournament as a freshman, explained he tried to approach the tournament like any other Saturday event.
“It wasn’t any different,” Weiss said. “You have to have the same mindset going into the tournament. We got there and saw all the teams wrestling and we were glad that we were here and made the trip on Monday.”
Along with Wiess, Klein expressed he was glad the tournament was able to be rescheduled because of the quality of teams in attendance.
“There were some tough kids there,” Klein said. “They saw a lot of good competition there. I think there were a lot of good things that happened and still some things that we can improve on.”
Wrestling tough opponents provides opportunities to see and address vulnerabilities. Going forward in the final weeks of the season, Klein said the main focus is practice is to tidy up the errors.
“We just need to get everything cleaned up,” Klein said. “All the little mistakes we’ve been making need to be fixed and recognized before they happen and just finish off our conditioning.”
With only four weeks until the district tournament, Klein explained the ‘Hounds have the potential to send “seven to eight guys” to the state tournament if everything goes right.
Maryville is set to meet some familiar faces come district time. Every school in the Midland Empire Conference is in the Spoofhounds district. Weiss said he is appreciative of the opportunities districts provide this year.
“We are thankful to see our conference,” Weiss said. “We have big rivalries with them and to see them multiple times and get to know the wrestler, and if you lose, get revenge on him, or if you win, see how good you have gotten with your technique.”
The final weeks of the season are looming ahead, and Weiss explained his goal is to find himself back on the mat at Mizzou Arena.
“I want to place high in tournaments, do good at MEC, districts and hopefully place at state,” Weiss said. “Hopefully go there if anything but just to see my team progress through the rest of the season and get more than just a few guys go to state is my goal.”