Wrestlers place 3rd at state

Following yet another undefeated regular season at 9-0, the Spartan wrestling team entered the gymnasium of Mizzou Arena Friday morning looking for a great run in the state tournament, and they were not disappointed. The wrestlers followed in footsteps of past wrestlers and kept the Francis Howell Central wrestling program in the spotlight.

The team took third overall, finishing behind Park Hill High School and Blue Springs High School. Wrestling late into the night on Saturday, the Spartans had two individual state champions, doubling the school’s tally of two total state champions in its existence. Brothers Brandon and Terrell Wilbourn both brought home titles in their respective weight classes.

Junior Terrell Wilbourn repeated as a Missouri state champion, taking the title in the 130-pound weight division, and senior Brandon Wilbourn finally brought one home as well, wrestling in the 152-pound weight class. Head Coach Steve Cross felt that the team overall had a great showing for this year.

“We had some really good wrestlers out there, and they got the job done,” said Cross. “Finishing third overall in a state tournament is not something that is easily done, and we are proud that we did it.”

Freshmen John Wood had a second place showing in the 119-pound weight division, in his first state tournament as a high school wrestler. He fell to defending state champion Skylar Wood of Park Hill in a match that went to the sixth period before it was decided. Andrew Buffa placed fourth overall in the 160-pound weight class, along with juniors Ben Henson and Justin Dickey placing fifth in the 125-pound weight class and the 145-pound weight class, respectively.

Out of the 11 Spartan wrestlers who qualified for the state tournament, six of them placed in the top five, and according to Brandon Wilbourn it was one of the best team showings that they had in the four years that he has wrestled on the team.

“We were impressive, and I am very glad to say that I have been a part of this great program,” said Wilbourn.

The next obstacle for the Wilbourn brothers will be the national tournament in Fargo North Dakota in June, where they will hope to bring to Central its first ever National champion.