Five Pirates win district wrestling titles as Hannibal sends 10 grapplers to state tourney

Hannibal’s Tristen Essig (132) during the Pirates dual against the Centralia Panthers, Monday in Hannibal.  Mathew Kirby (Herald WhigCourier Post)

Hannibal's Tristen Essig, right, is one of five Pirates to win district wrestling championships Saturday and qualify for the Class 3 state tournament. | Mathew Kirby photo

WENTZVILLE, Mo. — The Hannibal boys wrestling team is taking a strong contingent of grapplers, a district championship and the hope for more to the Class 3 state tournament.

The Pirates had five grapplers win district titles Saturday, while five others finished in the top four as they all qualified for the Class 3 state tournament being held next Friday and Saturday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.

Hannibal finished with 211.5 points to win the district team title. Fort Zumwalt South was second with 195.5 points.

Winning individual titles for the Pirates were sophomore Austin Brown at 113 pounds, senior Reign Creech at 120, senior Tristen Essig at 132, senior Cody Culp at 144 and junior Koen Ramage at 157.

Brown reached the title match by pinning Parkway Central’s Elia Attar in 1:11 and sticking Parkway West’s Eugene Wu in 2:46. Brown had a takedown and four two-point nearfalls against Wu in the first period before a reversal to start the second period led to the pin.

In the title match against Warrenton’s Manny McCauley, Brown fell behind 2-0, but a reversal led to a three-point nearfall and eventually a pin in 1:58. Brown is 44-3 overall.

Creech opened by pinning Parkway Central’s Dane Rush in 33 seconds. He pinned Parkway West’s Brenden Larson in 3:04. Creech scored two takedowns and a three-point nearfall in the first period before a takedown in the second period led to the pin.

Facing Whitfield’s Jackson Barrett in the title match, Creech took a 2-0 lead in the first period with a takedown and made it last. He started the third period on top and rode Barrett the full two minutes to close out the district title. Creech is 42-6 overall.

Essig pinned Parkway West’s Adam Paul in 2:19, stuck Chaminade’s Matthew Hogan in 46 seconds and scored a 14-4 major decision over Fort Zumwalt South’s Cameron Clark. Essig had seven takedowns, three reversals and two three-point nearfalls in his first three matches.

In the championship match, Essig opened the second period on the bottom and used an escape and a takedown to build a 5-1 lead over North Point’s Kaden Purler. He finished off a 5-3 victory to improve to 45-1 overall.

Culp pinned St. Charles’ Ezequeil Lopez in 56 seconds, pinned DeSmet’s Tim Nicholson in 1:19 and scored a 16-0 technical fall over Warrenton’s Max Tesson. Culp outscored his first three opponents 28-1.

In the title match, Culp dominated North Point’s Leo Buchheit, earning a 14-4 major decision as he built a 6-1 through two periods. In the third period, Culp turned an escape into a takedown and consecutive nearfalls. He remains undefeated at 29-0.

Ramage pinned St. Charles’ Alejandro Lopez in 1:10 and Warrenton’s Jamarion Fulton in 1:08. IN the semifinals, Ramage beat North Point’s Lucas Sapp 6-4 in overtime. Ramage took a 4-2 lead with a reversal a minute into the third period, but Sapp tied the match with a reversal with 48 seconds left and rode out a 4-4 tie. In overtime, Ramage scored a takedown with five seconds remaining to win.

In the championship, Ramage scored a reversal with nine seconds remaining to pick up a 6-4 victory over Whitfield’s Lucas Parietti. Ramage takes a 24-4 record to state.

At 285, Hannibal’s Ryan Ross started with a pin of North Point’s Ben Barfield in 1:02 and advanced with a 5-3 victory over Fort Zumwalt South’s Junior Rudd in which he used an escape to open the third period and a takedown with 54 seconds remaining to take the lead for good.

In the title match, Ross and Whitfield’s Adrian Harrold battled to a 2-2 tie through three overtimes with neither wrestler gaining any advantage. All four points were scored on escapes. Harrold won the ultimate tiebreaker, leaving Ross as the district runner-up with a 40-11 record.

Hannibal sophomores Korbin Howe and Drake Brinkley both finished third.

At 126, Howe responded to a semifinal loss by pinning St. Charles’ Derek Plaza-Smither in 2:24 in the consolation semifinals. In the third-place match, Howe used two escapes and a takedown in the second period to score a 7-5 victory over Warrenton’s Jeremiah Kassing. Howe is 34-9 overall.

At 138, Brinkley used a pin in 2:11 to reach the third-place match where he began the third period on the bottom while tied at 2 with Fort Zumwalt South’s Ryan Poropat. An escape with 1:24 to go gave Brinkley the 3-2 victory. He is 35-13 overall.

At 106, Hannibal sophomore Chase Youngwirth finished fourth. He rebounded from a semifinal loss to pin Fort Zumwalt South’s Julius Hopson in 2:30 in the consolation semifinals. He lost to Chaminade’s Bryce Smith in the third-place match, getting pinned in 3:25. Youngwirth is 11-12 overall.

At 150, senior Peyton Elliot took fourth, suffering a 7-1 loss to Whitfield’s Rome Tate in the third-place match. Elliot is 25-10 overall.

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