Log in

Third-place medals for Eagles' Moore, Gholson and Carey; Tigers' Moseley takes fifth


COLUMBIA — The timing of Miles Robinson’s arrival at Nixa as an assistant coach at the start of Peyton Moore’s freshman season led to a glorious career for Moore.

With Robinson serving as a confidant and practice partner the past four seasons, Moore collected four State medals. The 126-pounder added a second straight third-place finish to his medals count Saturday at the State Wrestling Tournament.

As Moore gave Robinson a hug following his finale, he was in tears.

“I didn’t expect that from Peyton,” Robinson said of the emotions. “It shows his character and dedication to the sport.”

Robinson, a Ray-Pec grad who competed at 106 and 113 during his prep career, has rolled with Moore and 120 junior Zan Fugitt throughout their careers. He can report on their progress as well as anyone.

“When I came in the (practice) room, I had heard Peyton was pretty good,” Robinson said. “His first year, I beat up on him. But the next year he closed the gap and his junior year and this year he’s beat up on me. It shows how hard he’s worked. He works hard every day and wants to get better. That’s all you can ask for out of each other. Those skills will carry him a long way.”

“Coach ‘Robi’ has been here all four years with me,” Moore said. “He was beating up on me all the time at first. Now, I’m beating him a little beat.”

Moore (38-5) lost 8-6 in overtime in the semifinal round Friday to eventual champion Hayden Benter, of Columbia Hickman.

“The kid didn’t do a whole lot. I was the only one creating any motion,” Moore said. “When it went into overtime, he caught me in a position I’m not very good at and he countered off of it.”

Moore rebounded to take third by downing Grain Valley’s Dru Azcona 5-3.

“It’s sad I’m done with high school wrestling,” he said. “You’re never really satisfied if you don’t win a state championship. But I had a great career.”

Gholson third second straight year

Nixa’s John Gholson posted a 5-1 win versus Jackson’s Liam Bryant in their 285 third-place match.

“It wasn’t the finish I wanted,” said Gholson, who was third at 220 last year. “I wanted to be in the finals. I wanted to get that match, but I won’t.”

Gholson (39-6) dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to eventual champion Brock Sullivan, of Blue Springs South, in the semis.

“After (my loss), I gave myself not even five minutes and I was already thinking about my next match,” Gholson said. “It feels good to come back from a close loss and come out on top.”

Bryant twice lifted and held one of Gholson’s legs, but never scored a takedown.

“I was quite confident in my single-leg balance,” Gholson said. “In the (practice) room, we put one leg on top of each other’s shoulders and run through the mats working on balance. We do that almost every week, so I was comfortable there.”

Fulfilling finish for Carey

Nixa sophomore Brennan Carey met his pre-season goal by finishing third. He beat Lindbergh’s Connor Kuehler 6-4 in the 195 third-place match.

“My Dad pushes me to write down my goals and things I want to do,” Carey said. “I set a goal for myself to make third place at State. I worked for it and got what I deserved. I knew the work I had put in would run its course and that if I would go out and wrestle and have fun, I would do it.”

“(Carey) was maybe our surprise or breakout wrestler of the tournament,” Nixa coach Dustin Martin said. “He came in as a sophomore after never being here before and his one loss was to the eventual two-time State champion.”

Carey (34-10) lost 13-4 to Liberty senior Wentric Williams in the second round.

“He’s someone I aspired to beat, but I don’t have that chance anymore,” Carey said. “He’s on another level. I don’t think I wrestled a good match against him. It just didn’t happen for me.”

Carey plans to stay at 195 next year and already has set his goal.

“I want to win it, I want to win it the next two years,” he said. “I’m confident I’ll put in more work than a lot of people.”

Ozark’s Moseley places fourth

Damien Moseley’s freshman season for Ozark ended with him taking fourth at 106. He lost 7-5 to Jackson’s Landon Vallalli in their third-place match.

“I definitely wanted top three, but I’ll be back next year,” Moseley said.

Moseley (40-10) was 4-2 at State.

“The pressure is on here, but it was fun. I think I responded to it pretty good,” he said. “After I lost (in the semifinals), I was trying to block it out of my head and focus on coming back. I didn’t really get nervous until the ‘blood rounds,’ when I thought about if I didn’t win, I was out. That made me nervous.”

Dupree runner-up

Nixa freshman Cali Dupree lost by fall  in the girls' 159 final.