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Summarizing the Pirates' run to glory

by Tad Brewer
Landmark editor

By now you know the story: Platte County's Pirates have claimed yet another state wrestling championship.

Platte County and Oak Grove both led all Class 1A-2A schools by each sending 11 wrestlers to the state finals in Columbia. The wrestlers from Platte County included seniors Brett Rolofson, 103, Jake Fisher, 152, Robbie Campbell, 160, Zach Sherman, 189, Chase Verdoorn, 215, and Charles Grutzmacher, 275; juniors Jason Callaway, 112, Brock Wittmeyer, 145, and Nick Jaros, 171; and sophomores Steve Fisher, 125, and Joe Hobbs, 130.

Rolofson opened the state competition for Platte County as one of four number one seeded wrestlers in the 103-pound weight class. Rolofson looked to repeat as a two-time state champion. Rolofson was victorious in his first round, pinning Jim Lasley, from the Missouri School for the Blind, in 1:17.

Callaway was knocked off in the 112-pound class in his first match. Callaway lost to Kolby Lankford, from Seneca by a 6-5 decision. This sent Callaway into the losers’ bracket.

Steve Fisher was defeated in his first match of the 125-pound weight class by a 9-6 decision to Drew Goding of Whitfield. Fisher was also sent to the losers’ bracket.

Hobbs also was defeated in the first round of the 130-pound match and was sent to the losers’ bracket. Hobbs was pinned in 1:07 by Josh Edelstein of Warsaw.

Wittmeyer looked to compete for the 145-pound state championship, as he had only one loss all season, and started his attempted run by defeating Marcus Russell from Lafayette County by an 8-2 decision. Wittmeyer thus advanced to the next round.

Jake Fisher attempted to repeat as state champion, this time in the 152-pound weight class. Fisher won his first match against Lance Oliaro of Lexington by a fall in 1:13. Fisher continued on to the second round.

Campbell began to make a run at the 160-pound title by winning his first match against Alex Useted of Priory by a 17-1 technical fall. Campbell advanced into the second round.

Jaros also won his first match, advancing himself into the second round in the 171-pound weight class. Jaros defeated Ben Woods of Monett by a pin fall in 1:36.

Sherman began his run for his second state championship by defeating Eric Mitchell of Knob Noster by a 17-1 technical fall. This victory advanced Sherman into the next round of the 189-pound class.

Verdoorn wrestled through his injuries in attempt to win his third consecutive state championship. Verdoorn advanced to the second round by pinning Melvin Barry of Berkeley in 1:20, in the 215-pound weight class.

Grutzmacher concluded the first round for Platte County by suffering a tough loss in the 275-pound match. Grutzmacher was sent to the losers’ bracket after losing by a decision to Nick Sprague of Pleasant Hill in overtime.

Rolofson started out the second round by defeating Stephen Dawson of Penney with an 18-5 major decision. Rolofson continued into the semifinals of the 103-pound weight class.
Callaway picked up his second loss in the 112-pound class to Lucas Gramke of Centralia by a pin that came at 2:54. Callaway was knocked out of the state tournament; Gramke went on to place third. Callaway finished the season with a record of 29-13.

Steve Fisher was also eliminated from the competition after suffering his second loss in the 125-pound weight class. Fisher lost to Justin Hancock from Carrollton by a 13-6 decision. Fisher finished his season with a record of 23-20.

Hobbs lost to Jayson Gaston of Oak Grove by a 10-1 major decision. Hobbs ended his season with a record of 19-23.

Wittmeyer broke the losing streak for Platte County by defeating Sayre Auck of Centralia with a 17-2 technical fall. Wittmeyer continued on within the 145-pound weight class.

Jake Fisher picked up his second win of the 152-pound weight class by pinning David Myers of Seneca in 2:47. Fisher advanced to the next round.

Campbell advanced into the next round of the 160-pound weight class after picking up a win over Billy Daleske of Warsaw, with a 13-6 decision.

Jaros was shocked in the second round of the 171-pound class after he picked up a loss to David Griffin of Centralia by a 4-2 decision. Jaros was forced to now try and place third after moving to the losers’ bracket.

Sherman picked up another win in the 189-pound weight class, advancing him into the next round, after defeating Tyler Billington of Butler by a 9-5 decision.

Verdoorn also advanced to the next round, after pinning Kelsey Kelm of Centralia in 2:38, in the 215-pound weight class.

Despite his first round loss, Grutzmacher won his wrestleback and advanced to the next round in the losers’ bracket. Grutzmacher defeated Tony Serna from the Missouri Military Academy by a 4-2 decision.

In the third round, Rolofson won his semifinal match to advance into the 103-pound weight class finals. Rolofson defeated Eric Mosinger from John Burroughs with a pin fall in 3:24. That was the first loss of the season for Mosinger.

In the 145-pound weight class, Wittmeyer picked up his second loss of the season and was sent into the losers’ bracket to try and contend for third place. Wittmeyer lost to Ryan Hall of Oak Grove; Hall went on to win the 145-pound weight class.

Fisher advanced into the finals of the 152-pound weight class after defeating Marc Macey of Richmond by a 14-2 major decision.

Campbell picked up his first loss of the tournament in the 160-pound weight class to Chase Campbell from Pleasant Hill. C. Campbell defeated R. Campbell by an 8-4 decision.

Jaros won his first wrestleback in the 171-pound weight class after pinning Jacob Hackman from Boonville in 1:24.

Sherman advanced into the finals in the 189-pound weight class after pinning Matt Dunajcik from MICDS in only 0:31 seconds.

In the next match of the round, Verdoorn advanced into the finals of the 215-pound weight class after pinning Chad Stein from Oak Grove in 2:35.

Grutzmacher won his next wrestleback, defeating Bryce Klein from Richmond with a 5-3 decision in overtime, in the 275-pound weight class.

Before the finals would take place, all of the wrestlers who had suffered a loss would continue through the losers’ bracket until all of the matches had taken place.

In the 145-pound losers’ bracket, Wittmeyer pinned Dusty Webb from Seneca in 2:25, to advance to the third place match.

Campbell advanced to the third place match in the 160-pound wrestlebacks after pinning Ian Baldwin from South Harrison in 4:38.

After Campbell and Wittmeyer won their wrestlebacks, Jaros continued to win his wrestlebacks, eventually making it to the third place match of the 171-pound weight class after pinning David Greathouse from Whitfield in just 0:40 seconds.

Grutzmacher lost to Nick Sprague from Pleasant Hill after being pinned in 3:22. Despite the loss, Grutzmacher finished fifth overall in the 275-pound weight class. Grutzmacher finished the season with a record of 26-11.

After this round in the losers’ bracket, the third place matches were scheduled to take place.

Wittmeyer took third place in the 145-pound weight class after defeating Derek Bird from Maysville by a 7-3 decision. Wittmeyer finished the season with a record of 39-2.

In the 160-pound weight class third place match, Campbell lost to Spencer Bain from Lawson by a 14-3 major decision. Campbell finished fourth overall and ended his season with a record of 28-17.

Jaros finished third in the 171-pound weight class after pinning Charlie Bacon from Trenton in 2:48. Jaros finished the season with a record of 40-5.

After that all of the matches were complete except for the finals, Platte County found themselves trailing Oak Grove in team scores. The chances for Platte County to win their third consecutive state title looked slim, since the Pirates were already trailing Oak Grove in points, but also because Oak Grove still had five wrestlers left in the finals compared to only four wrestlers left for Platte County.

In order to win state, the Pirates needed all of their wrestlers to win their matches, and some of the Oak Grove wrestlers to loss their matches.

Rolofson picked up a much-needed win for Platte County and his second consecutive 103-pound state championship. Rolofson defeated Richard Vaughn from Warsaw by a 3-1 decision. Rolofson finished the season with a record of 27-3.

The next Platte County wrestler to compete in a championship match was Fisher in the 152-pound weight class. Fisher won his second consecutive state title, and narrowed the point spread between Platte County and Oak Grove, after picking up a pin after 3:16 against Jonathon Fetters from Pleasant Hill. Fisher finished the season with a record of 43-1.

In the 171-pound weight class, Oak Grove had an opportunity to seal the state championship, but Will Sears from Oak Grove picked up only his fourth loss of the season, falling to Carlos Torres from O’Hara.

Since Sears did not win the championship, Platte County would win the state title if both Sherman and Verdoorn would win their championship matches.

Knowing that he needed to win his match in order for Platte County to have a shot at the championship, Sherman defeated his opponent Justin Talley from Plattsburg by a decision to win the his second consecutive state title, this one coming in the 189-pound weight class. Sherman finished the season with a record of 37-4.

After the victory by Sherman, Platte County trailed Oak Grove by three points, and only one wrestler was left between the two schools; that wrestler was Verdoorn.

Verdoorn was competing for his third consecutive state title, and had not lost in over two years; all he needed to do now was win the 215-pound weight class state championship. If Verdoorn were to win the match, no matter how slim the margin, the Pirates would receive their third consecutive team title.

Despite not having lost a match in over two years, Verdoorn was not guaranteed a victory as he had still not completely healed from his injuries that kept him out of action through most of this season. Early in the match, Verdoorn was able to get in the lead over his opponent Derek Lampkin from Lawson, and hold the lead through the entire match.

Verdoorn defeated Lampkin by a 9-6 decision for his third consecutive state championship, and for Platte County’s third consecutive Class 1A-2A Championship, edging Oak Grove by the smallest margin of victory ever in Missouri.

Platte County finished first overall with 178.5 points, and they were followed by Oak Grove with 177.5 points.