Just how good is Carthage junior wrestler Trevor Feagans?
Well for one, he’s done something only 19 other people have done in the history of Carthage wrestling.
But even more striking is the fact Feagans did it in a shorter period of time than anybody else on that list.
On Dec. 30 in the finals of the Springfield Holiday wrestling tournament, Feagans earned his 100th career win as a Tiger. Two of his seven victories in the tournament came against ranked opponents in Willard’s Conner Loderhose, ranked 10th in the state in Class 3 at 132 pounds, and Bolivar’s Jesse Sherman, the seventh-best wrester in Class 2 at that weight.
“It’s very impressive,” Carthage head coach Kenny Brown said. “He’s the first junior I’ve had that has reached that milestone that soon. If others reached that it’s been at the end of their junior season. What’s impressive is he’s got half the season still to go. He could easily end up with 160 wins in his career. That’s something very doable.”
The Carthage High School record for wrestling wins is 167 in a career.
“It’s difficult to get that many wins,” Brown said. “No. 1 you’ve got to be good. No. 2 you’ve got to stay healthy.”
And Feagans has reached 100 wins despite missing a few tournaments and battling an illness earlier this season. He said the milestone is something he’s dreamed about since he was a kid, and he’s worked hard since his freshman season to get to 100 wins and become one of the top wrestlers in Carthage history.
“It’s an honor just to be even in the same conversation as the guys who have reached it,” he said. “For me to do it even before those guys did, it’s a privilege to know that’s how good I really am.”
How’s this for impressive. Feagans won 42 matches his freshman season, and 43 last year. Heading into this weekend’s Excelsior Springs tournament, Feagans is a perfect 17-0, and his career record now stands at 102-7. He wants to get another 25 or 30 wins under his belt this season, then take a run at the record next winter.
It has, of course, taken a lot of time and hard work to become this good.
“The big thing is he’s been very dedicated from an early age,” Brown said. “He has been helped along on this journey of his by a lot of different people. It’s not just what I’ve done. He came to me pretty stinkin’ good already from working with his father, working with older wrestlers who have graduated, working with Neosho early on in his career. He’s constantly wanting to learn. He’s constantly wanting to wrestle. He goes where he’s going to get better. I know he’s worked out with Nixa, with the Seneca boys, just about everywhere around here. He wants to do what it takes to accomplish his goal, which is a state championship.”
This season he’s been working out with senior Taylor Bogle, who wrestles at 126 pounds, a class below Feagans.
“We push each other pretty hard,” Feagans said. “I think he and I both have a good shot to do some big things at state.”
Brown describes two different sides of Feagans, on and off the mat. One is serious, the other a bit more relaxed.
“On the mat he’s very dominant,” Brown said. “He kind of goes through a transformation when he goes on the mat. Off the mat he’s very fun loving, but when he’s on the mat he’s very serious. He wants to win. Off the mat he’s constantly joking around with his friends. Last year he was academic all state. He’s a good student who works hard and part of that is wrestling teaches you to work hard. He knows what he’s got to do on the mat and he also knows what he’s got to do in the classroom.”
When that transformation takes place, and the serious, competitive Feagans prepares for his next opponent, Brown always knows he can count on his junior. It makes life as a coach a little bit easier.
“I’ve got several really good wrestlers and Trevor is one of those,” Brown said. “It’s nice when I can pretty much always count on six points in a dual. As coaches, when we’re going through trying to figure out lineups and what we need to do to maneuver to give our team the best chance to win, it’s always nice to have kids like that and know I can wrestle him at 132 pounds or 138 pounds and know I’m still going to get six points. That’s a good feeling. When he walks out on the mat there is very little trepidation on my part because he is so talented.”
As you can guess, Brown and fans of Carthage wrestling aren’t the only ones catching on to Feagan’s success and talent. Halfway through his junior season, he’s already a sought-after commodity for several big colleges.
While he still has pages to write for his high school career, Brown said, there’s no telling where he’s going to go at the next level. Virginia and the University of Missouri are among those interested, and Carthage hasn’t had a Division 1 wrestler for 10 years.
“That would be a wonderful thing for our program, to be able to point to him and say this is what we produce here,” Brown said.
Feagans isn’t about to make a decision, though. He wants to wait until deeper into his senior season before he makes the difficult choice. In the meantime, he just keeps getting better.
He notices the improvement, too.
“Some of it might be maturity,” he said. “I go home after practice and I watch some of my old matches. I can tell the change I’ve made since my freshman year. I’ve made huge strides. I feel like I’m wrestling better this year than I ever have.”