Junior Trevor Feagans became the fastest to 100 career wins of any Carthage wrestler earlier this season, and Saturday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Feagans came close to winning it all.
Feagans, wrestling at 132 pounds, finished second in the state in Class 3 after falling 2-0 against Kearney’s Kevin Kinney in Saturday’s title round of the 2012 MSHSAA Wrestling Championships.
Feagans finished the year at 44-4, while Kinney goes home with a 51-2 record.
Carthage head coach Kenny Brown said he could see Feagans wrestling with a lot of confidence and purpose throughout the state tournament.
“Yes he did, and he did with this match as well,” Brown said. “This was no different, but he gave up an early takedown and that was a tight match between two very, very talented wrestlers.”
Still, second place was hard to swallow for Feagans.
“You’re not a real wrestler if you don’t want to win it all,” Brown said. “You’re disappointed when you don’t. People just use that as fuel for the fire for next year. He’s been a runner up twice. That’s hard for a lot of people to deal with. True wrestlers want to be the champ. They take it personal when they don’t win, and I don’t blame him. We’ll just get ready for next year.”
The Tigers finished in 18th place in Class 3, after tallying 31 points in the tournament. Webb City finished 20th with 27 points, and Carl Junction was third with 25. Neosho, meanwhile, gained 110 points and took fourth place, just a point and a half out of third.
Carthage had eight wrestlers qualify for the state tournament. Senior Cody Ellis, competing at 195 pounds, entered with a 34-16 record and scored three team points. Ellis won a 7-5 decision over Hannibal’s Logan Clark in the first round, then lost 7-2 against Rockwood Summit’s Rudy May in the quarterfinals. Ellis rebounded with a 1-0 victory against Jaydon Gunnett of Carl Junction in round two of the consolation bracket, but lost 10-4 against Michael Taylor of Warrensburg in consolation round three.
Larry Swinehart, a senior wrestling at 160 pounds, scored three team points as well. Swinehart lost a 9-2 decision in the first round against Ian McIntosh of Rockwood Summit, then won by pin in 1:12 against Jeffrey Mann of Belton. Neosho’s James Townsend ended Swinehart’s tournament run in the second round of the consolation bracket with a 3-1 decision.
Senior Taylor Bogle, wrestling at 126 pounds, scored four team points. Bogle won by pin in 30 seconds against Hillsboro’s Nathan Kelam in round one, but lost 8-2 against Staley’s Blake Clevenger in the quarterfinals and then lost 6-3 against Republic’s Cody Sandridge in the consolation second round.
“All three of them have been down here and they did really battle hard, but it just wasn’t in the cards for one reason or another,” Brown said of the senior trio. “Those young guys, it’s nice to have this experience. We’ve hopefully got the jitters out of the way. By next year, it’ll be old hat and we can get down to the business of winning some medals.”
Gage Gartner, a 120-pound junior, was tripped up in the first round by Arrington Kemp of Warrensburg, who won 4-2. Gartner then fell 2-0 against Washington’s Nicholas Solter.
For three Carthage freshman, the tournament showed just how tough it can be. Seth Logan, wrestling at 138 pounds, lost an 8-4 decision and then lost by injury default. Tyler Harden, competing at 113 pounds, lost by pin in 35 seconds, then lost by pin in 29 seconds. Dakota Jones, representing the Tigers at 106 pounds, lost by major decision 16-5, and then lost 5-2.
“Having eight guys qualify is really nice,” Brown said. “We’ve got a very good team, a very solid team all around. We just didn’t have the high medalist to score a lot of points up here at the state tournament. If it was a dual tournament, we would have done much better. We’ve got a lot of very quality kids and our program just continues to improve.”
Feagans, meanwhile, scored 21 points for the Tigers. He won by pin in 40 seconds against Will Eicher of Chaminade in the first round, then won by major decision, 13-2, over Jeremy Goss of Staley in the quarterfinals. Feagans won 11-4 in the semifinals against Hannibal’s Colby Collings.
“I’m very pleased to have him coming back,” Brown said. “Not just for his wrestling ability, but for what he brings and will bring to the practice ring. The teammates will see a kid who’s been to the top. Especially next year, you’re going to see a more intense young man than we’ve already had because he’s going to be on a quest for that title he’s put in the work to earn, and that will elevate the level of the wrestling in the room. He elevates his teammates and makes us better.”