County edges Oak Grove by one point to win state. Again.
Team effort and hard work prevailed for the Platte County
Pirates wrestling team on Saturday as they clinched their
third straight Class 1A-2A state championship. A one point
differential was enough to knock off Oak Grove 178.5 to
"I'll tell you who won the title for us and that's
the wrestlebacks," stated Phil Dorman, Pirate wrestling
head coach. "I told them that if you don't keep us
close in the consolation side of the bracket, it doesn't
matter what the guys in the finals do. Ultimately those
four kids are the ones who won the tiles for us."
After being down five points to Oak Grove entering the
finals, the Pirates' determination came shining through
as they were faced with winning all four of their final
matches and gaining as many extra points as possible.
And that's exactly what Platte County did. Oak Grove
the team the Pirates knew they had to beat, lost a key
match at 171 pounds, setting up the Pirates for a key
Winning the first two of their matches placed senior
Zach Sherman at 189 pounds on deck to face Plattsburg's
senior Justin Talley.
Sherman walked away from the match capturing his second
state title, gaining a major decision 11-3 over Talley,
setting up teammate and two-time defending state champion
Chase Verdoorn for a crucial match
Verdoorn's wrestling career nearly came to an end earlier
in the season after an accident left him with a broken
hip and tibia, a separated shoulder, two small fractures
in his pelvis and a broken nose. Seven weeks were stripped
from Verdoorn's wrestling season until getting the okay
from physicians to wrestle for districts.
"He told me not too long after his accident that
he'd be back. I was very optimistic because of his mentality
but I also prepared the team for the chance he may not
have returned," said Dorman.
Several months following the accident, the Platte County
senior was at the Hearnes Center in Columbia set to face
a previous competitor, Lawson's Derek Lampkin. Despite
remaining not pinned by Verdoorn within the first three
minutes of the match, like other fallen competitors throughout
the season, Lampkin fell to Verdoorn in a 9-6 decision.
The Platte County senior walked away with his third straight
championship and clinched the third state title for the
Platte County Pirates. Verdoorn also became the school's
all-time wins leader Friday evening and became the first
three-time state champion in Platte County's history.
"We worked hard for this all year long. And this
year's was harder than the last two, which in a way made
it sweeter," stated Dorman. "It showed what
these kids are made of because they were faced with having
to score extra points in the end to get the title and
that's what they did."
While some of the team's top athletes are graduating
this year, Dorman feels confident about the team's chances
"Our goal is always going to be winning the state
title and that's never going to change," said Dorman.
"Brock Wittmeyer, Nick Jaros and Jason Callaway are
some of the top caliber kids returning next year and two
state place winners returning also.
"We're going to prepare the team the best we can
and make a run at number four."