Nixa’s Deagan Fugitt enjoyed an especially fulfilling 1-0 victory over Ozark’s Wyatt Snyder on Tuesday and just because their 113-pound match was the main event of the night.
The escape Fugitt earned showed him how far he has progressed scoring from the bottom position.
“Working from the bottom has just gotten good for me this year,” Fugitt said after his victory helped lead to a 58-13 Nixa triumph over the host Tigers. “Last year, I wasn’t too hot on the bottom. I trained all year on it. Since last May I’ve been working on it. We do drills on bottom every single day in practice. That’s all really helped me.”
Fugitt (27-5) freed himself from Snyder (28-4) after Snyder covered him on his left side to start the second period.
“If he covers on the left side, it’s easy for me to get up,” Fugitt said. “The right side, I’m a little weaker, but still really good about getting up. I knew this was going to be a really close match. I also knew I had better bottom than he had top.”
Snyder saw his winning streak end at 16 matches when he couldn’t counter with an escape of his own in the third period.
“I was getting near it at the end, but could’t keep control,” said Snyder, who endured a bloody nose during the match. “There wasn’t enough time.”
“I think he was getting closer. But I feel I could have held him another 30 seconds,” Fugitt said. “I was working my legs most of the third period. It got to the point where my legs were falling out (of position), so I grabbed his arm and held it on his back so he couldn’t get out.”
"Deagan rode him pretty good in the third period," Eagles 106-pounder Peyton Moore added.
Fugitt backed up his No. 4 ranking at 113 in Class 4 in the MissouriWrestling.com rankings.
"This is definitely going to be make me better," Snyder said. "It helps to have good competition."
"I like getting all that mat time," said. "I got to sweat."
Fugitt and Snyder had met only once previously, going back to when they were 8 years old. Looking ahead, a classic rivalry within the Ozark-Nixa rivalry should be in the works. The Eagles and Tigers will both be at Winnetonka Tournament and the COC Tournament the next two weekends, with Districts on the horizon.
“I’m going to have to clear through the fog and bounce back,” Snyder said. “This is just a dual. I’m going to have to prepare and work harder so I can win next time. I’m expecting to see him at Districts and hope I can win there.”
“I feel great about the win but think I could have won by more,” Fugitt said. “I want to wrestle him in the (COC and District) finals. It’s going to be a fun next month.”