For the second year in a row, the Conway High wrestling team won the second 7A/6A dual conference championship, going undefeated in the tournament last weekend at Cabot.
The Cats defeated Van Buren 57-16, Bryant 60-18, Beebe 60-24 and Cabot 53-24.
"We entered the season with four goals in mind and achieved one of those on Saturday," coach Ray Sessions said. "We wanted to win the conference duals, win the conference individual, win the Wampus Cat Invitational, and win state. All four goals are achievable."
Russellville and Little Rock Central elected not to wrestle in the conference dual tournament, opting for other events. Conway defeated Russellville 69-12 earlier in the season and defeated Central last week 54-30.
Conway has faced each conference team this season and is undefeated in conference duals with an overall record of 22-4. The Cats have won 16 dual meets in a row.
"I don’t know if individually we are good enough to win state," Sessions said. "To win state you must have three or four win individual state titles, and I’m not sure that will happen. But, as a team we are pretty good."
Several states have team dual tournaments for a state championship. Arkansas does not. However, the Wampus Cat Invitational next Saturday will have 26 of the top teams in the state. It will be as close to a state dual tournament as there is with the 26 teams wrestling on seven mats in Buzz Bolding Arena and the old gym.
Senior Jaxson Myers is 24-0 on the season and has not been taken to his back in any match. He has not trailed anyone this season. Myers was state runner-up at 140 pounds last year and is competing in that class again.
"Jaxson is fundamentally as good as they come in Arkansas," Sessions said. "The best thing about him is that he is as humble as if he had a losing record. He doesn’t act cocky or arrogant. He shows up to work every day. He is a leader in every sense of the word."
Junior Corven Alexander is 19-1 at 145 pounds and has pinned every opponent he has faced. His one loss was to Tyler Mann of Central in December by a 9-7 decision. He pinned Mann in a January match.
Senior heavyweight Hal Hoggard is the favorite to win the state this year. Hoggard is 15-1 on the season and is the top returner from last year.
"Hal has the ability and the tools to win it all," Sessions said. "But, he has to work harder and be more determined in order to do it. The other guys aren’t just going to roll over for him."
The Cats had eight make all-conference last Saturday. They are: Connor Lusby, Elliott Lusby, Myers, Alexander, Skyler Thompson, Ryan Ennis, Morgan Shiew and Hoggard.
"Ennis is the surprise of the team this year," Sessions said. "He was a third-string sophomore quarterback on the football team and decided to try wrestling. We are glad he did. His work ethic is phenomenal. When he cross-faces an opponent, they cringe."
Shiew and both Lusby’s were all-state last season.
Rounding out the conference roster were Connor Aist, TJ Ruth, Camaran Azumara, Drew Fahr, Brannon Kotch, Cesar Barrios, Dylan Watts and David Fulford. Kotch was 4-0 Saturday in exhibitions while wrestling as a fill in for North Little Rock.
Azumara was also undefeated Saturday.
The Cats compete this weekend in the CAC invitational in which they took third last year.