Although success is usually measured by where you finish, the Oakville Senior High School wrestling team hopes this season’s experience at the recent Missouri Class 4 state championships will pay larger dividends next season.
“We were hot and cold down there,” Oak-ville head coach Brett Lieberoff said. “We came out raring to go in one match, and then in other matches, we seemed to be going through the motions.”
Oakville’s Luke Vogel started the tournament on fire as he won a 7-5 decision over Dominique Shelton of McCluer North at 145 pounds. Vogel fell to Brandon Wiest of Fort Zumwalt West in the quarterfinal by fall at the 1:30 mark, which put him in the wrestleback bracket.
He exited the tournament with a fall to Grant Wilson of Lee’s Summit at 3:55.
“Luke had a tough draw in the quarters,” Lieberoff said. “But he came out tough in that match and gave him (Wiest) everything he had.”
Charles Toney of the Tigers also won his first-round match with a 7-5 decision over Austin Hile of Jefferson City at 189 pounds.
Toney then dropped an 8-5 decision to Jason Kingslover of Lee’s Summit in the state quarterfinal.
“In the quarterfinal, Charles was up against a kid that he had beaten before, but he seemed a little cautious,” Lieberoff said. “In matches like that, we shouldn’t be cautious and as a coach, I need to work that out with him.”
Toney moved to the wrestleback bracket and posted a 9-4 decision over Brad Aten of Northwest. But his luck ran out in the wrestleback quarterfinal with a heartbreaking 7-6 decision to Tommy Tuck of Fort Zumwalt West.
Though neither wrestler medaled at state, Lieberoff was quick to note that both grapplers had solid seasons.
“Both Luke and Charles had great years,” Lieberoff said. “This experience is going to be huge next year.”
Lieberoff also believes that Vogel and Toney’s experience at state will help set the foundation for next season’s team.
“We’re going to need their experience next year for next year’s team, which is going to be fairly young,” Lieberoff said. “This experience at state is going to make them better for next year.”