Wait till ya hear about this

Corey Wait’s dominant run of form halts at State

Marcus Falcomata, Staff Reporter At-Large

In our midst is one of the great wrestlers in the history of an extremely successful and decorated Francis Howell Central Wrestling program.  

Senior Corey Wait has medaled at State all four years of his career, an accomplishment achieved by only six other Spartan wrestlers.  

His career culminated this February at the State Tournament with a Sixth place finish. His other medals include a sixth place finish in 2016, third place in 2017, and second in 2018. Perhaps the greater achievement of the season though, was the undefeated record Wait held coming into the State Tournament.  

Although sixth place is an excellent accomplishment, expectations for Wait were much higher entering the season. Coming off of a loss in the state finals in 2018 to a senior, Wait maintained his ranking in first place from the pre-season and on to the State Tournament.

“It was expected that he would go undefeated,” said fellow Wrestler and senior Austin Smith.

Neither Smith nor Wait could see anything less than a State title in Corey’s future. “He was ranked first in the State, he beat everybody, he took first at Winnetonka and Lee’s Summit, so what else could we expect?”

“Going into the season, I expected a state title,” Wait said. “But, you know, sometimes one goal doesn’t really go your way and you end up achieving something else. Making it undefeated all the way past districts was really my achievement this year.”

Smith commented on what makes Wait a great wrestler and a nightmare in the ring. “There’s certain moves you can do on certain dudes, but with Corey, he can put even a big dude in a spladle. It doesn’t matter what position, he can put you in a spladle,” Smith said.

Smith went on to praise the well-balanced nature of Wait’s skills. “All aspects of his wrestling are really good though so even in close matches he can pull those moves out and come out with the win.”

“Wrestling against Corey is funky,” elaborated Smith. “He’s got long arms and he’s quick on his feet so it’s like, you just got to be aware of stuff that throws you off. It’s a whole different game when you wrestle him.”

A lot of the credit for Corey’s skill is due to the junior Spartan wrestling programs. Some day those little guys seen around the wrestling room and cafeteria on weeknights will take the place of our current wrestlers and likely have similar success.

Athletics director Scott Harris recognizes the numerous benefits the wrestling program reaps from having such a strong junior program.

“If you look at the number of state trophies and the number of top 10 finishes we’ve had, wrestling is arguably one of the top programs at Howell Central,” Harris said.  “I think the junior spartan program has played a big part in that because it gets these wrestlers started at an early age. They learn from great, great coaches like Coach Cross. His entire staff are very hands on with the junior program,” continued Harris. “Kindergarten through seventh grade they’re getting good coaching and getting good skill work and are getting to know wrestling well from high school coaches before high school even starts.”

Even Wait knows what a fantastic opportunity the junior spartan wrestling program brings.

“The Junior Spartan program is basically a high school wrestling program, just a little less times a week in the practices and everything are almost identical and really it does prepare you for being in high school wrestling,” Wait said. “When you start wrestling young, you really you just have to commit. It becomes your life so when you have you know, the the muscle memory just completely down to a tee,” Wait said. “Then these people that are wrestling you know, just in high school, they’re just now figuring it out.”

Wait has much to be thankful for in his journey as a Spartan, and many people who helped him get to this point of dominance.

“I’m really thankful for Coach Cross, you know, we’ve had our issues and we fought a little bit but it’s really just made me a better person,” said Wait. “I’m also really thankful for Coach Rocky, who left last year. Really just it’s not even about wrestling at that point. He’s just a role model and it really changed how I wanted to be.”