Triple-threat heads to state

Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Cassville’s Akhilleus Arguelles battles Harrisonville’s Nick Ripperger in the 132-pound district championship. Arguelles won the match in a 19-7 major decision. Rebecca Merriman/Special to the Cassville Democrat

Wildcats qualify three, win one district title

The Cassville boys wresting team has tripled its number of state qualifiers this season, as three Wildcats punched their tickets on Saturday to the 92nd Boys MSHSAA Wrestling Championships.

Nathan Fortner, Cassville wrestling coach, said the district tournament in Seneca was all business for his boys.

Cassville’s Kurt Deaver fell to Seneca’s Keatin Burleson in the third-place match, but he defeated Logan-Rogersville’s Braxton Yost in the blood round to punch his ticket to state. Rebecca Merriman/Special to the Cassville Democrat

“We wrestled to expectations,” he said. “There’s a couple matches I’d like to have back, and I wish we could have brought more kids. But, we qualified half of our team to state.”

Akhilleus Aguelles, at 132 pounds, stole the show for Cassville with a first-place finish.

“Triple-A did what he’s done all year,” Fortner said. “He was dominant all tournament and won a 19-7 major decision in the final, so he put on a show. He was never really in trouble in any of his matches, and I’m excited to see what he can do at state.”

Cassville’s Jake Anthonysz fell to Helias Catholic’s Logan Montoya in the 1660-pound district championship. Rebecca Merriman/Special to the Cassville Democrat

Fortner said a key to Aguelles’ success is his persistence on the mat.

“He’s still scoring points in the third period, which I love,” he said.

In the final against Harrisonville’s Nick Ripperger, Arguelles was down 2-1 after the first, but exploded in the second for 11 points. In the third, he scored another 7, including a pair of takedowns.

Another Wildcat competed for gold on Saturday, but 160-pounder Jake Anthonysz came up short to Helias Catholic’s Logan Montoya by fall in 2:38.

“Jake was in one of the toughest brackets in the state, as three of the state’s top four ranked wrestlers are in our district,” Fortner said. “The guy he lost to in the final is No. 1, and that was the first time we’ve seen him. We are on the opposite side of the bracket from him at state, so hopefully we meet get a state final rematch.”

Fortner said Anthonysz has been on the edge of qualification the past two years, so he’s excited the junior will get his first trip.

“Jake has earned it,” Fortner said. “He’s just missed the last two years, so he deserves to go after all the work he has put in.”

The most exciting qualification for the Wildcats came in the 113-pound bracket, where Kurt Deaver finished in fourth.

“Kurt pinned the kid in his bubble match in the first period,” Fortner said. “He did a gator roll and put the kid on his back and pinned him. The cool part about that is he had been working on that move all week, and that was the first time he tried it in a live match, and it worked.”

The third-place opponent, Seneca’s Keatin Burleson, is a familiar foe to Deaver.

“We’ve wrestled him three times, and two of those three, we got caught and pinned,” Fortner said. “We are on the opposite side of the bracket from him, too, so if we see him again, we’ll be ready.”

With the state tournament starting on Thursday, the Wildcats only had a few days this week to prepare.

“We will watch film and do a little tweaking,” Fortner said. “We are in shape and everything is laid out in front of us.”

All three Wildcats are first-time state qualifiers, and Fortner hopes to head off any negative effects from lack of experience.

“We’ll go Wednesday, get a practice and to see the facility, then we wrestle on Thursday,” he said. “We’ll talk about each match and take them one at a time. But, it’s a big venue, and the boys haven’t wrestled in that. Hopefully they don’t get wide-eyed and stay calm.”

Full results from districts include:

113: Quarterfinal — Kurt Deaver (Cassville) over Hayden Westbrook (Osage) (fall, 1:42)

113: Semifinal — Easton DeMilia (Blair Oaks) over Kurt Deaver (Cassville) (fall, 3:06)

113: Consolation Semi — Kurt Deaver (Cassville) over Braxton Yost (Logan-Rogersville) (fall, 0:46)

113: 3rd Place Match — Keatin Burleson (Seneca) over Kurt Deaver (Cassville) (fall, 1:40)

120: Quarterfinal — Carter Prenger (Helias Catholic) over Jaret Hinson (Cassville) (fall, 0:21)

120: Consolation Round 3 — Myles Callaghan (Nevada) over Jaret Hinson (Cassville) (fall, 2:59)

132: Round 1 — Akhilleus Arguelles (Cassville) over Avery Patrick (Buffalo) (fall, 0:37)

132: Quarterfinal — Akhilleus Arguelles (Cassville) over Zachary `Zach` Preston (Reeds Springs) (fall, 4:28)

132: Semifinal — Akhilleus Arguelles (Cassville) over Jacob Foster (Logan-Rogersville) (major decision, 12-3)

132: 1st Place Match — Akhilleus Arguelles (Cassville) over Nick Ripperger (Harrisonville) (major decision, 19-7)

138: Round 1 — Matthew

Whittenburg (Cassville) over Nolan Laughlin (Blair Oaks) (decision, 10-8)

138: Quarterfinal — Matthew Whittenburg (Cassville) over Joseph Fahnstock (Nevada) (decision, 10-5)

138: Semifinal — Andrew Manley (Seneca) over Matthew Whittenburg (Cassville) (fall, 1:10)

138: Consolation Semi — Nolan Laughlin (Blair Oaks) over Matthew Whittenburg (Cassville) (decision, 7-3)

152: Round 1 — Wyatt Forck (Helias Catholic) over Hunter Morse (Cassville) (fall, 0:42)

152: Consolation Round 2 — Jason Evers (Eldon) over Hunter Morse (Cassville) (fall, 1:37)

160: Round 1 — Jake Anthonysz (Cassville) won by tech fall, over Will Golder (Clinton) (Technical Fall-1.5, 2:10, 16-0)

160: Quarterfinal — Jake Anthonysz (Cassville) over Tyler Longobardi (Nevada) (fall, 1:50)

160: Semifinal — Jake Anthonysz (Cassville) over Lincoln Renfro (Seneca) (decision, 12-5)

160: 1st Place Match — Logan Montoya (Helias Catholic) 34-5 over Jake Anthonysz (Cassville) (fall, 2:38).

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