Park Hill senior Sean Hosford was here last February on the Mizzou Arena floor, attempting to become a three-time Missouri Class 4 state wrestling champion. But he recognizes that was something of an illusion.
Sure, he had beaten a doctor’s timeline and returned from a broken leg before the postseason, but he was forced to qualify in a heavier weight class, and he was far from full strength. As a result, he failed to make the six-man podium.
His comeback is nearing its final stages.
Hosford recorded a first-period pin in the Class 4 145-pound state-tournament bracket Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals Friday. The championship matches will take place Saturday.
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“I was disappointed last year because I wanted to be a four-time (champion), but I’m also thankful for (the injury),” Hosford said. “It showed me how much I should appreciate this.”
Although Hosford’s plans to join that illustrious four-time club evaporated, his team maintains the opportunity. The Trojans are the three-time defending team champions.
Smithville leads Class 2
Nearly 12 months after his third-place finish at the Missouri Class 2 state tournament, Smithville junior Jacob Boyd has one primary takeaway still stuck in his mind.
He’s used it as motivation.
“I learned last year that I’m close,” he said. “I’m right there.”
One step closer now.
Boyd, 47-1, pinned Liberty (Wentzville) junior Drake Church only 39 seconds into their first-round match of the 195-pound bracket.
His steady progression mirrors the surge of the Smithville program, which has placed in the top four the last two seasons but is searching for its first state championship. The Warriors qualified 10 wrestlers for the tournament, and nine of them won their first-round matches Thursday. Smithville has a first-day lead in the Class 2 team standings.
Richardson bounces back
The quest for an unbeaten season came to an abrupt end last week for Liberty North junior Daterrairon Richardson, when he was pinned in the semifinals of the Missouri Class 4, District 4 tournament.
He moved back on track Thursday.
Richardson needed only 29 seconds to record a first-period pin and advance to the Class 4 quarterfinals.
“I think it was good for me because now I most definitely feel like an underdog,” Richardson said. “I’ve been working harder all week.”
Hosford is one of only eight wrestlers vying for a third state title this weekend.
In Class 3, Platte County seniors Ethan Karsten and Matthew Schmitt can become three-time champions. In Class 2, Oak Grove junior Connor Brown, Odessa senior Dakota Miller and Smithville senior Luke Sachs are trying for their third titles. All advanced to Friday’s quarterfinal round.
Oak Grove eyes history
Three-time defending champion Oak Grove is fourth in the Class 2 team standings. The Panthers can claim their 17th team title in school history, which would break a Missouri state record across all classes.
The Panthers went 7-1 in first-round matches Thursday, with Shawn Kavadas (132 pounds), Tristan Stack (160), Landon Cairer (170), Tyler Curd (220) and Austin Kemp (285) recording pins.