Monett's Chase Brennan, Ethan Davis and Chris Renteria advance to finals and each wrestler became a state champion.
"I'm speechless," said Monett Head Coach Daryl Bradley. "These boys worked so hard and sacrificed so much to reach these heights. I'm proud to be their coach."
In the 103-pound weight class Brennan prevailed 11-7 against Cole Reynolds from Ste. Genevieve. Chase avenged an earlier defeat in the year to Reynolds.
Brennan collected three takedowns, two reversals, and one escape to take the state title.
Being able to adjust and learn has been a quality that has served Brennan well in his short high school career.
"Chase works so hard in each match," said Monett Assistant Coach Matt Holt. "If he loses, he learns from his mistakes. He's never satisfied and always looks to improve his ability."
"It's real easy to get caught up in the pageantry of this tournament," said Bradley. "Chase remained focused and his hard work paid off."
"If you want to see what the definition of being focused and prepared is, look at Ethan 30 second before a match," said Holt. "Ethan adjusts to his environment so well. As his competition level steps up, he will step his level up as well."
Davis defeated Almondo Connor from McCluer South Berkely 8-0 for the 145-pound title.
Davis was in control the whole match despite a scoreless first period. Davis opened the second period scoring three points on a quick escape and takedown. He picked up five more points on two nearfalls, which gave him 8 points in the period.
"Ethan has been such a great kid to work with his entire career," said Bradley. "This season he embraced a leadership role helping the young wrestlers and giving advice. It was really like having another coach on our staff."
Davis is only one of 70 wrestlers to become a three-time state champion. Even with these high honors Davis knows there is still work to do.
|"Winning the championship is the best feeling ever," said Davis. "But, I can't become satisfied. I now have to focus on taking my game to the next level and focus on winning there."|
Davis also had some advice for younger wrestlers
"Work hard," said Davis. "Never take anyone or anything for granted and always do the right thing."
In what was one of the closest and most entertaining matches of the evening, Monett's Chris Renteria defeated Joshua Hastings from Pleasant Hill 3-2 in the 135-pound division.
|Renteria trailed 1-0 after letting Hastings escape to keep him from resting. Hastings would later return the favor allowing Renteria to escape tying the match 1-1.|
Hasting would earn 1 point for a Renteria stall in the third frame to take a 2-1 lead with 1:25 remaining and looked to be headed for a win, clinging to the 2-1 advantage with 15 seconds left in the match.
Renteria pushed Hastings out of bounds to force a neutral restart with 10 second left, on the restart Renteria shot under Hastings leg, tipping him over to score 2 points with the takedown with seven seconds remaining.
"The last minute of the match was a roller coaster of emotion," said Holt. "At first I was mad because we were trailing and then I'm jumping up and down because I can't believe what I just saw."
Renteria said he knew he had to do something in those last seconds.
"He beat me in the finals of district," said Renteria. "I knew I was going to have to attack him if I wanted to win. I just kept pushing and got the win. It feels awesome."
Coach Bradley agreed with Renteria
"Chris is a great kid," added Bradley. "I am so happy for him. He does everything you ask him to do, I can't even begin to explain what a good kid he is, I am really happy for him."
For the Monett coaching staff their high expectations continue to be met.
"We expect to win when our wrestler takes the mat," said Bradley. "We have high expectations and winning these matches proves that we have a winning formula."
Bradley also stated that he would never forget this tournament.
"To go three for three in the state championship and know how much the guys prepared, it's memorable," said Bradley. "Our goal now is to work hard in the off-season and bring home a team state title next year."
Monett finished sixth in the 48 team field.