Bulldogs focused on winning ‘little battles’

By Jardyn Angell, Correspondent
Posted 1/12/22

 The Mexico Bulldogs kicked off 2022 with a decisive win over Owensville.

 Competing in a tri-meet at Blair Oaks on Thursday, every Bulldog who faced an Owensville opponent won by …

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Bulldogs focused on winning ‘little battles’

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 The Mexico Bulldogs kicked off 2022 with a decisive win over Owensville.

 Competing in a tri-meet at Blair Oaks on Thursday, every Bulldog who faced an Owensville opponent won by decision.

 Grant Van Horn (132 pounds), Dylan Mosley (138), Keith Ransom (145), Cameron Beasley (152), Jokiah Sewell (170) and Deacon Haag (220) all won by pin for a total of 36 points. Then, Keegan Koons (106), Ricky Juarez (120), Watson Azdell (126) and Sam Ortiz (160) each won by forfeit to round out Mexico’s scoring in a 60-24 victory.

 “Getting back down on weight for the first time is always good for the kids,” head coach Gayle Adams said of his team returning from holiday break. “And getting a good quality dual win as a team, and the team morale is really nice, it’s good to see the kids come together like that.”

 Mexico followed the win with a dual against Blair Oaks, with Adams shuffling up the lineup a bit.

 Juarez opened against the Falcons with a 17-0 tech fall, and Van Horn, Mosley, Peyton Hoover (170) and Haag each won by fall. But the home Falcons tallied a tech-fall victory, three decision wins, four pins and two forfeits to outlast Mexico 40-35.

 “I moved the lineup around a little bit to see if we could get some matches and it kind of backfired on me,” Adams explained. “But the kids understand what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to get them good matches and get a team win, it just didn’t come out in our favor that night.”

 The Bulldogs bounced right back on Saturday at the Crossroads Duals in Cameron, opening with blowout wins over Park Hill (64-9), Trenton (57-18), Clinton (63-9) and Savannah (62-12).

 “Those first four duals we kind of set the tone,” said Adams. “Everyone came out and wrestled aggressively and made a statement.”

 Mexico faced a tougher task in its final dual of the day, matching up against Marceline.

 “They’re ranked third or fourth in Class 1 and they had some really good kids,” Adams said. “They matched up well with us and it was a great dual to put the intensity on the kids where they have to come out ready to wrestle every match.”

 Morgan Grubb (195), Beasley, Sewell, Juarez, Van Horn, Mosley and Ransom all entered the dual with Marceline at 4-0 on the day—and Juarez, Van Horn, Mosley and Ransom would each exit the contest a perfect 5-0.

 Juarez and Ransom won by fall, Mosley picked up a 6-4 decision win and Van Horn won by forfeit as the Bulldogs escaped with a 39-37 win.

 Grubb and Beasley lost by fall to Marceline and Sewell dropped a 13-6 decision to all finish 4-1 on the day. Casey Minter (113) and Haag also finished the afternoon 4-1.

 “Jokiah [Sewell] and Deacon [Haag]wrestled some No. 1 kids and they went out there and fought hard,” said Adams. “And any given day, I think Jokiah and Deacon can beat those kids.”

 Adams discussed the importance of learning from each match – win or loss – and explained that the Bulldogs are hoping to grow and improve during the regular season, before putting it all together in the postseason.

 “I think the kids are in great shape and great spirits,” he said. “They’re training hard and they know the ultimate goal is in February. We’re not trying to be undefeated in January.”

 The Bulldogs have a busy week ahead, with a dual in Hannibal on Wednesday, a quad in Osage on Thursday and then a two-day tournament in St. Charles Friday and Saturday.

 “The biggest thing right now is getting people healthy again and keeping their weight down,” said Adams. “It’s just winning little battles and matches. If we win these little battles now, that pays off big at districts and at the state tournament.”

 Smith-Cotton Rookie Round Up

 While the varsity wrestling team was in action in Cameron, the junior varsity mixed it up in Sedalia at the Smith-Cotton Rookie Round Up.

 Ahrajah Givens (132), Kodie Castelli (145), Sam Ortiz (160) and Marcos Matuz (220) finished a perfect 3-0 on the day, Quaid Grubb (138) and Ryan Williams (152) went 2-2 and Tyson Carr (126) finished 1-2.

 “Our young guys are fighting and they’re getting great mat experience,” Adams said. “I’m seeing the turn in their performances and I think they’re doing a great job too.”

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