State Bound: Wrestlers On A Mission

The Owls have six wrestlers competing at the state tournament this weekend.


Paula Warren

Senior Jake Warren is looking to defend his state title .

Jake Vaughn, Staff Writer

For the first time ever, the Windsor wrestling team took home a team plaque from the district tournament.The Owls finished second out of 15 teams on Saturday in the Class 3 District 1 tournament at Farmington.

Overall, six Owls qualified for the state tournament, which begins today at Mizzou Arena. Seniors Ryan Yarnell, Jacob Warren, Drew Kinder,  Connor Richey, sophomore Grant Pauli and freshman Chris Butts will begin competing at 5 pm today in Columbia. The finals will take place on Saturday.   

Warren and Yarnell head to the state tournament without a loss this season.

Yarnell, who has the most wins in Windsor history, finished third at state last season. Yarnell was battling the flu throughout the week at state last season. He is a four time state qualifier.

“Winning (districts) in dominant fashion this year helped make me confident that I’m ready.  Most of my preparation is mental. Just making sure that I’m confident in myself and my training.  The physical aspect is a practice in moderation.  Making sure I stay sharp without wearing myself out.”

Warren is now a four time district champion, and is prepared to defend his state title. Warren became the first state champion in Windsor history last season

Warren said, “I’ve been wrestling Ryan all week to make sure I am ready to beat the best competition in the state, and I’ve wrestled all offseason preparing for my last state tournament.”

Kinder achieved his goal of making it back to state for the second time after missing out last year.  He took third place in districts last week in the 120 pound weight class.  

Kinder says he needs to continue to be an aggressive wrestler to continue his success.  

“It felt really good (to get back to state). It was a good feeling to know all my work has paid off.  The plan  at state is to have my mind right and force my offense; the goal is to bring home a medal.”

Pauli is returning to state after winning the 145 pound weight class on Saturday.

Richey and Butts are making their first trip to the state meet. Richey finished in second place at districts. Butts made an unexpected run on his way to a third place finish at the district tournament.  

Butts said, “It feels good to be the only freshman to make it to state, and I beat a senior to knock him out of being able to go to state.”

Last year, Windsor finished in tenth place as a team in Class 3. The Owls are hoping for an even higher finish this weekend.

Follow The Hoot on Twitter for live updates throughout the state tournament.