Davis earns fourth place finish in state wrestling tournament


John Flanegin

For Brock Davis, RBHS’ sole state wrestling qualifier, the three-day MSHSAA State Wrestling Tournament spanning from Thursday to Saturday this past week would mark the first time the three-time state qualifier would get his hands on a coveted state medal, finishing fourth in the Class 4 120-pound weight class.
Davis would enter the tournament as the seventh seed with a 29-4 record after taking the Class 4 District 3 title over Jeff City’s Peter Kuster, 4-3 on Sat. Feb, 13. With such a strong finish before heading into the final competition of his junior campaign, Davis maintained the same mindset he had competed with the entirety of the year.
“Honestly my goal the entire season was to win the whole thing,” Davis said, “so going into the first day I just tried to keep that in mind.”
Facing Caleb Conedera of Timberland in his first round, Davis picked up a dominant 10-0 major victory to send him into a second round match-up with Staley’s David Berryman. The Bruin, however, couldn’t get into a scoring position against Berryman losing 5-0 and sending him into the back half of the bracket, also known as wrestlebacks. From here on out a second loss would end Davis’ season.
Kuster would be awaiting Davis in both wrestler’s third match, but would suffer another 4-3 defeat at the hands of the Rock Bridge product in overtime. Kuster, however, wouldn’t be the only familiar face Davis would see in the tournament as he met Cameron Wegener of Lafayette in his following match. Wegener won the pair’s previous match-up 5-4 early in the season at the Parkway South Patriot Classic. Davis proved what a difference three months could make, beating Wegener 9-3 and locking up a place on the podium.
“I knew them (Kuster and Wegener) so going into the match knowing what they’d do and how they would handle me did help a lot,” Davis said, “but honestly I don’t think it would have mattered who I wrestled, I told myself I wasn’t going to go 1-2 for a third year straight and it showed when I wrestled.”
Head wrestling coach Travis Craig agreed with Davis on handling known competitors, but also believed his training and preparations before the tournament gave him a competitive edge on the mat.
“Brock’s conditioning was something we really worked on heavily throughout the course of the season,” Craig said. “When he finally got to face some of the state’s best wrestlers this weekend it was often his gas tank that allowed for him to finish matches strong and outlast his opponents.”
Davis’ stamina was displayed in his fifth match of the tournament against fellow Columbia wrestler, Klayton Anderson, of Battle. After earning an escape in the second period to take a 1-0 lead Davis successfully rode Anderson in the third to pick up his fourth victory of the weekend and second over Anderson as he defeated the sophomore 4-2 when the two met in the Lee’s Summit Holiday Invitational.
Awaiting Davis in his final match, where he would wrestle for third place, was Berryman.
“The 120 weight class was one of the tougher in the tournament,” Craig said. “We knew Brock would have to face someone tough in the third place match and it just so happened to be a kid he had already wrestled. Brock had been wrestling out of his mind in wrestlebacks so I knew he was capable of having a much closer match.”
While the match was closer Davis once again lost to Berryman, this time 3-0, earning a notable fourth place finish to cap off his best season as a Bruin.
Davis’ practice partner, Junior Isaac Lage, was in attendance for many of Davis’ matches during the course of the tournament and couldn’t have been more proud of both his teammate and friend.
“I saw all the hard work Brock put in while wrestling me pay off as he wrestled at state,” Lage said. “He always worked his butt off and it really showed.”
But for Davis the fourth place medal only adds fuel to his competitive fire as he already has plans for his fourth and final season in a RBHS singlet.
“I already want to get back in the room so I can be the one on top of that podium next year.”
What do you think about Davis’ state tournament performance? Leave your comment below.
Editor’s Note: Writer is a member of the RBHS wrestling team.