Wildcats prep for Big 8 meet
Focus on individual finishes for wrestlers
The Cassville boys wrestling team has been missing some grapplers, but things are looking up for the Wildcats with the Big 8 Tournament around the corner.
Nathan Fortner, Cassville wrestling coach, said the focus for his boys is on individual finishes, as the team is returning some wrestlers that have been out but are still missing some weights.
“Since the Monett Tournament, we will be getting back our 220, 285 and 126 guys, which are big weight classes we didn’t have,” he said. “We have about six guys that should make some noise in the Big 8.”
The best finish for a Wildcat recently was for Gabe Hunter, who took second at the Monett Tournament in the 138-pound weight class.
“I’m feeling good,” Hunter said. “I think I will do better in the Big 8 Tournament than I did in Monett. There is a kid I lost to before that I know I can beat.”
Fortner said the Wildcats will leave a lot of slots open, seven out of the 14 weight classes, so his guys are focused on finding the podium more than a strong team finish.
“We are looking to get better every day, and I think the guys have bought into that,” Fortner said. “Monett and Seneca will be our big threats, and team-wise, it will be tough to place high because of the weight classes we are giving up.
“But, individually, we should have some kids place high, and we are focused on that at every turn.”
Hunter said the confidence from Monett’s placement has him excited for conference matchups.
“I push myself each day, and I want to see how far I can go,” he said. “I want to exceed my limitations. Matthew Bahl from Monett is my toughest opponent [at the Big 8 meet], and I think I can beat him.”
Cassville heads to Seneca on Friday for the conference tournament.