Tigers Open Season Strong At Black And Gold

Sunday, Oct. 30 –

The Missouri Wrestling team hit the mats for the first time of the 2011 season Sunday morning at the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse during their annual Black and Gold exhibition.

Throughout the day, the team competed in 27 matches on two mats and did not take an overall team score. The freshmen were the main attraction of the event, as the team has a wealth of new talent this year.

To start things off on Mat One, junior Nick Gregoris made a strong appearance with a 1-0 decision over redshirt freshman Austin Lindsay in the 157-pound weight class. However, the junior could not keep his momentum up against redshirt freshmen when he faced Drake Houdashelt, who handed Gregoris a 3-2 loss.

Mat One also created fireworks when Kyle Bradley laid Kellen Bounous down 9-1 with a strong third period in the 149-pound weight class.

Things started out heavy on Mat Two with a 197-pound match between sophomore Ryan Robinson and freshman Justin Heberlie. Earning All-American honors at Farmington High School, the team hopes Heberlie’s skill can make an impact early on. Heberlie fell to Robinson 6-1, however, despite showing immense abilities.

The way the day was going, the freshmen were beginning to steal the glory on Mat Two. In a 165/174 match Cody Johnston, a freshman native of Warrensberg, Mo., defeated redshirt freshman Ty Prazma with an impressive 12-3 major decision sparked by a takedown late in the third period.

Another standout Tiger performance, with three takedowns, was 141-pound, redshirt freshman Jake Cyr’s domination of true freshman Brandon Rice, landing him an 8-1 victory.

As excitement filled the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse, the final match was perhaps the most anticipated matchup of the day. Houdashelt took on Lindsay with a lot to prove to his teammates and coach, defeating Lindsay in a major decision of 10-1.

Coach Smith gained a wealth of knowledge from his team as they competed in front of over 600 fans on Sunday. He will use his observations as he prepares his team for the season opener at home against the Purdue Boilermakers on Sunday, Nov. 13.

-Jordan Santo
23 Sports
Staff Writer