Nixa’s Deagan Fugitt hasn’t been in contact with Ozark’s Wyatt Snyder since they both made the 113-pound field at State last season. He’s hoping to hear soon if Snyder is also making the jump to 120 pounds.
Fugitt drew motivation from the attention their rivalry received from fans and the media last winter.
“I hope Wyatt is at 120, too, so I can get a couple good matches in and get some headlines,” Fugitt said.
Fugitt swept all three of his matches opposite Snyder, winning by counts of 1-0, 6-4 and 3-2. However, at Districts Snyder took second and Fugitt third as they both made State. They both went out during he second round of wrestle backs at State.
Fugitt, a junior, will have to wait and see which 113-pounders he faced last season are moving up. Some foes probably were able to maintain their weight at 113, but Fugitt had no choice but to go to 120. In fact, he’ll likely start the season at 126 and stay there for a couple weeks.
“I’ve grown by three inches and gained weight over the summer,” said Fugitt, who was 45-10 last season. “I’ve been thinking 120 since May. This summer, I got up to 138. I thought, ‘Dang, I need to start my diet.’ I did and got down to around 125. I have been trying to maintain my weight between 120-130 and have been sticking around 125.”
Likewise, Nixa’s Peyton Moore long ago decided to move up a class, from 106 to 113. He was a state runner-up last season.
Moore plans on taking advantage of his added weight and not be as dependent on trying to take opponents to the mat. He had 33 pins while posting a 43-10 record last season.
“I’ve gotten taller and a lot stronger,” he said. “I’ve changed up my style a bit. I’ve been more aggressive on my feet. I know I need to be a lot faster and stronger on my feet.”
Both Fugitt and Moore stayed busy over the summer with freestyle and greco wrestling. Both competed in a national tournament in Fargo, North Dakota.
“I wrestled kids ranked in the top five in the nation,” Moore said. “Competing against the best will make you better.”
“I saw a lot of high-quality wrestlers,” Fugitt said. “I wrestled national champs all the way down to first-year wrestlers. I’m learning from my losses.”
As for goals, Moore and Fugitt are eyeing medals.
“I want a podium finish at State, hopefully top three,” Fugitt said.
“I’m excited and looking to come back and win a state title,” Moore added.