Arguelles grabs Big 8 gold

Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Akhilleus Aguelles is named the winner of one of his matches at the Big 8 Conference Tournament on Saturday. The Cassville grappler won first place at 132 pounds. Contributed photo

Pair of Cassville grapplers runners-up in conference

Cassville took six grapplers to Reeds Spring on Saturday for Big 8 Conference Tournament action, and one Wildcat rose to the top of his weight class and brought home a gold medal.

Akhilleus Arguelles, wrestling at 132 pounds, won his first thee matches by fall to get placement in the championship match against Seneca’s Brayden Thiel.

Cassville’s Kurt Deaver squares off with Seneca’s Keatin Burleson at the Big 8 Conference Tournament on Saturday. Deaver took second place at 113 pounds. Contributed photo

In that match, Arguelles scored a takedown and reversal in the first round and an escape and reversal in the second to go into the final period up 7-4. In that frame, he quickly scored a quick 3 nearfall and takedown, scoring another 2 nearfall and reversal for a 16-7 major decision.

“[Akhilleus] is just fun to watch,” said Nathan Fortner, Cassville wrestling coach. “He always makes it interesting when he steps on the mat because he goes for it. There’s no holding back with him, and he gets himself into scrambles but usually comes out on top. The kid from Seneca he beat in the championship had me worried because he is state-ranked and a good scrambler, too. Akhilleus has been getting better and better every week and is working really hard.”

Two Wildcats came up just shy of titles. Cassville’s 113-pounder, Kurt Deaver, fell in the championship to Seneca’s Keatin Burleson in 4:46. He was behind in scoring 13-2 when the pin came.

Jake Anthonysz, at 160 pounds, won his first two matches and faced Marshfield’s Mathew Derecichei in the championship, losing a 12-6 decision decided by a 5-0 second round for the Bluejay grappler.

“That 160-pound bracket for Jake was a tough one for the Big 8,” Fortner said. “We’d beat that Marshfield kid earlier this year by 1 point, but this time Jake got on his back early and had to play catch-up. He’s right there and just needs some small, minor adjustments.”

Fortner said Deaver has a few areas to work on ahead of districts.

“We can’t rely on one move,” Fortner said. “But, Kurt is consistently healthy and coming to practice, and he can get there.”

Also wrestling for Cassville were Jaret Hinson, fifth at 120 pounds; Matthew Whittenburg, seventh at 138 pounds; and Hunter Morris, eighth at 152 pounds. Seneca won the tournament with 398 points, and Marshfield was second with 370.5. Cassville came in at eighth with 128.

As the season comes to a close, the Wildcats will spend a lot of time in Seneca. The Indians are hosting the Peoples Bank of Seneca Tournament on Jan. 29-30, then will also host the Class 2, District 3 Tournament on Feb. 11-12.

“It’s always tough to qualify for state, since only the top four get to go,” Fortner said. “Last year, we only had one qualifier, so we are hoping for more this year.”

The Missouri State High School Activities Association has changed the way the postseason operates back to the district-state path, rather than district-sectional-state. At the sectional last year, only the top three advanced to state. Had the rules been top four, Cassville would have had two more wrestlers qualify.

Full results from the Big 8 tournament include:

113: Round 5 - Kurt Deaver (Cassville) over Aidan Branch (Monett) (fall, 1:06)

113: 1st Place Match - Keatin Burleson (Seneca) over Kurt Deaver (Cassville) (fall, 4:46)

120: Round 1 - Brady Roark (Seneca) over Jaret Hinson (Cassville) (fall, 0:36)

120: Round 2 - Trenton Sanders (Hollister) over Jaret Hinson (Cassville) (fall, 0:41)

120: 5th Place Match - Jaret Hinson (Cassville) over Myles Callaghan (Nevada) (fall, 1:24)

132: Round 1 - Akhilleus Arguelles (Cassville) over Zachary `Zach` Preston (Reeds Spring) (fall, 3:04)

132: Round 4 - Akhilleus Arguelles (Cassville) over Ayden Ball (McDonald County) (fall, 0:41)

132: Round 5 - Akhilleus Arguelles (Cassville) over Joseph Martin (Marshfield) (fall, 2:45)

132: 1st Place Match - Akhilleus Arguelles (Cassville) over Brayden Thiel (Seneca) (major decision, 16-7)

138: Round 2 - Jackson Snider (Logan-Rogersville) over Matthew Whittenburg (Cassville) (fall, 3:07)

138: Round 3 - Cross Spencer (McDonald County) over Matthew Whittenburg (Cassville) (fall, 4:41)

138: Round 5 - Marcus Gritts (Marshfield) over Matthew Whittenburg (Cassville) (fall, 4:00)

138: 7th Place Match - Matthew Whittenburg (Cassville) over Layton Newell (Hollister) (fall, 4:03)

152: Round 1 - Ethan Dighero (Nevada) over Hunter Morris (Cassville) (fall, 1:44)

152: Round 2 - Beau Thompson (Logan-Rogersville) over Hunter Morris (Cassville) (fall, 1:21)

152: Round 4 - Devon Girard (Hollister) over Hunter Morris (Cassville) (decision, 6-2)

152: 7th Place Match - Matthew Brooks (Marshfield) over Hunter Morris (Cassville) (fall, 1:50)

160: Round 2 - Jake Anthonysz (Cassville) over Lincoln Renfro (Seneca) (decision, 10-6)

160: Round 5 - Jake Anthonysz (Cassville) over Griffin Swearengin (Logan-Rogersville) (major decision, 15-6)

160: 1st Place Match - Mathew Derecichei (Marshfield) over Jake Anthonysz (Cassville) (decision, 12-6)

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: