Mehlville wrestlers looking for success at state tournament

By STEPHEN GLOVER

When the Class 4 Missouri Wrestling Championships begin today — Feb. 14 — in Columbia, the Mehlville Senior High School Panthers hope to come home with a few medals.

The Panthers took eighth-place overall with 84.5 points in the Class 4 District 1 Tournament at Lindbergh High School last weekend.

Mehlville head coach Mike Ghormley believes that despite not sending as many wrestlers to state as he had hoped, the Panthers have a good shot at grabbing some hardware.

“A couple of kids went through as expected,” Ghormley said. “But we also had a couple of kids that didn’t make it through like we had hoped they would. I feel like the three kids we’re taking all have the opportunity to take home some medals.”

Senior Nick Costa (24-5) took second overall at 119 pounds with a loss to Seckman’s Devon Fenstermaker (30-9) by fault at the 2:42 mark in the second period.

Costa is slated to wrestle Spencer Courier (35-6) of Lee’s Summit today in the first round of the Class 4 state championships.

“In the first few rounds, he really took it to his opponents,” Ghormley said. “He pinned his first two opponents and major-decisioned his opponent in the semifinal. I think that some of his success at state depends on his draw.”

Also taking second for the Panthers was senior Max Muench (31-3) at 189 pounds.

Muench dropped an 8-5 decision to Rob Bazdresch (14-1) of Kirkwood in the championship match. He’s scheduled to wrestle Hayden Bock (34-11) of Park Hill today in the first round of the Class 4 state championships.

“Max wrestled well throughout the tournament,” Ghormley said. “He ended up pinning his first two opponents and it was a one-point match throughout most of the championship match.”

Nick Lauer (31-7) was the Panthers’ third wrestler to qualify for state with a fourth-place finish at 145 pounds. Lauer was on the losing end of a 7-6 decision to Herb Krischke (40-5) of Northwest in the third-place match.

The fourth-place finish was disappointing for Lauer after winning the district championship last season and taking third place overall at state.

Lauer will face Joey Wolfrum (23-3) of Fort Zumwalt East today in the first round of the Class 4 state championships at 145 pounds.

“Nick was a little disappointed with how the district tournament went,” Ghormley said. “He took third at state last year and was the district champion. He had a couple of close matches where the calls could have gone either way. There are very few wrestlers out there that he can’t compete with.”