Cubs to vie for 4 state title

Friday, February 17, 2017
Monett coach Ben Hohensee receives a bear hug from freshman Gunnar Bradley after advancing to Saturday night's state championship match. Jared Lankford/

Monett advances 5 wrestlers at state

COLUMBIA – Four Monett wrestlers will take their shots at 2017 Missouri State Wrestling Tournament titles in the next 24 hours.

The Cubs advanced five of their seven wrestlers into the final day of competition on Saturday, with four competing for state titles and one for third place.

Joseph Semerad, Joel Barrientos, Gunnar Bradley and Ian Meyer all punched tickets to the finals on Saturday night.

“I'm just so proud of these guys,” said Daryl Bradley, Monett coach. “They've been loose all tournament long, and tonight, they wrestled their hearts out.”

Friday was especially sweet for Barrientos and Meyer. Both grapplers advanced to their first state title after gunning for multiple state berths in their previous campaigns.

“The biggest difference is, I stopped looking at who I was wrestling and their records,” Barrientos said. “I just focused on wrestling my style.”

Karter Brink, who lost a tight quarterfinal match, picked up a victory in the evening wrestleback session. He will compete Saturday morning for potentially third place honors. Brink opens the session in the consolation semifinals

As a team, Monett sits in third place, tied with Savannah, with 100.5 points. Mexico is second has 108, and Oak Grove is on top with 112 points.

A top-four finish is within Monett's grasp with a strong final round. Matches begin at 10 a.m.

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