The Conway wrestling team placed fifth overall in the 6A/7A state tournament last weekend at the Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock. Rogers Heritage won the State title followed by Little Rock Central, Bentonville, Catholic and Conway.
"We had a disappointing first day," CHS coach Ray Sessions said. "To place high in that type of tournament, you have to win matches on day one since you get more points for winning on the championship side of the bracket."
Conway ended the first day in seventh place overall.The Cats climbed to third at one point on Saturday before falling back to fifth.
"We wrestled much better on Saturday," Sessions said. "We started the day with 10 of our 14 guys still in it and ended with seven in the top six. We were closing the gap at the end but all the teams ahead of us had too many guys wrestling for first place whereas we only had one."
That lone contender was junior captain Jaxson Myers. Myers, competing in the 140-pound class, was sixth in the state in 2009 at 135. Myers entered the tournament as a No. 3 seed. Myers defeated Catholic High senior Jason Decoursey in overtime to advance to the final. It was the fourth meeting between Myers and Decoursey and their seventh in the past two years. Decoursey had won all previous meetings.
"Jaxson was ready for that match," Sessions said. "He wanted another shot at Decoursey ever since losing to him at the CAC tournament. That match was definitely one of the most exciting in the tournament. I think just about everyone who wasn’t wrestling at the time stopped to watch it."
Myers opened the scoring with a quick takedown for a 2-0 lead. Decoursey was able to escape the hold and get a takedown of his own to close out the first period with a 3-2 lead. Myers elected to start the second period on defense and gained an escape to tie the match at 3-3. He was then able to get a takedown at the end of the period to take the lead. Decoursey chose to start the third period on defense and gained a reversal to tie. Myers was able to get a reversal of his own to regain the lead, but Decoursey quickly countered him and was able to tie it up 7-7 with seconds remaining.
With the score tied after regulation, the match went to sudden death overtime where the wrestler who scores first wins. Myers was able to get the takedown to win the match with 10 seconds left. He advanced to the final against Drew Coble of Bentonville and lost 6-1. Coble is a three-time state champion and is 53-3 the past three years. Myers’ second place finish is the highest in program history. He finished the year 32-7 and has made all state both years.
In other individual action, Sophomore Corven Alexander went 3-2 and finished fourth. He lost to eventual state champion Henry Reyes of Russellville in the semis and Glen Becker of Central in the consolation finals. Becker was a state champion in 2008 and runner-up in 2009. Alexander finished the season with a 31-6 record.
Junior Morgan Shiew competed in the 145-pound class and finished fifth and earned all-state honors. Shiew was 24-15 on the season. Senior Josh Brown was also named all-state after finishing fourth. Brown faced last year’s champion, Luis Valenzuela of Rogers, in the semifinals and lost 8-7. In the consolation finals, he lost 3-2 to Connor Bolton of Heritage.
"Josh lost two matches the whole tournament and they were both by one point," Sessions added. "He was two points from being our 1st state champion."
Heavyweight Hal Hoggard finished in sixth place. Hoggard was also named to the all-state team. Freshman twins Elliot and Connor Lusby were both named all-state in the 119- and 112-pound weight classes after their sixth-place finishes.
"It was a good tournament for us overall," Sessions said. "Thirteen of our 14 wrestlers won a match. Last year (the first year of the program) we had three or four guys who didn’t win a match at state. We’re closing the gap between us and some of the elite teams."
All 14 of Heritage’s wrestlers were named all state, while Central and Bentonville had 10 each. Conway and Catholic were the next highest with seven.
"Last year we finished eighth and had five guys named to the all state team," Sessions said. "This year we finished fifth and had seven named all-state. We also beat every team in our classification in duals this year except Heritage. This was a successful season."
Conway will graduate only one senior from its state tournament roster and will return 13 of the 14 weight classes.
"We are very optimistic about next year," Sessions said. "We’ll have some great senior leadership next season and we’ll work hard to keep the title in central Arkansas."
Participants and there records were:
103 Chris Wilson 1-2
112 Connor Lusby 2-3
119 Elliot Lusby 3-3
125 John Bullock 2-2
130 Corven Alexander 3-2
135 Drew Lamprecht 0-2
140 Jaxson Myers 3-1
145 Morgan Shiew 4-2
152 Trevor Voegele 2-2
160 Jonathan Clark 2-2
171 Skyler Thompson 1-2
189 Trent Schulthies 2-2
215 Josh Brown 3-2
285 Hal Hoggard 3-3