Thursday was Peyton Moses’ last opportunity to wrestle in front of his fans during Senior Night.
Moses, who wrestles in the 120-pound division, didn’t have an opponent from Raytown or Truman in a three-team dual. So when Van Horn faced Raytown, head coach Craig Addison elected to bump Moses up to face 126-pounder Jordan Wagstaff.
He capped off his regular season with a pin in 1 minute, 50 seconds, highlighting the Falcons’ second-place finish at home. Van Horn was tied with Raytown 36-36, but the Blue Jays won because of the eighth tiebreaker – most first points scored – which Raytown won 5-3. The Falcons then rebounded with a 54-24 victory over Truman in the final dual of the night.
Raytown defeated Truman 52-6 as it took first.
“We are wrestling really well and some of our younger kids are coming into their own at the end of the season,” Addison said. “Sometimes mat awareness is what hurt us. We gave up pins when we’re winning the match.”
Moses, who has lost in the bubble match to get to state the last three years at districts, will have one final chance to qualify next week in the Class 3 District 4 tournament. He will be going into it with a little bit of momentum after his win against Wagstaff.
“It was great. I am glad to be a part of this team the last four years,” Moses said. “My match went toi fast to even tell (how well I wrestled). I wanted to wrestle longer.
“I feel great going into districts. I feel like I am going to make it to state.”
Added Addison: “It was a good closing out party for him. I thought he wrestled well. He got in on a single-leg (takedown), then got into a chicken wing, which is his bread and butter.”
He and fellow senior Roberto Arcia were recognized before the match against Raytown. He had two giant necklaces made of boxes of candy and bags of chips around his neck, and Addison said he hopes Moses holds off on eating any of it until after state.
“There’s going to be none of that,” Addison said of Moses potentially eating the multitude of snacks he was given. “He came up and asked me, ‘Are you mad at me right now?’ And I was like, ‘Yes, I am disgusted right now.’”
Moses won his other match by forfeit against Truman.
Sophomore Aaron Maluia (285) was another Falcon to go 2-0 on the day as he won by forfeit against Raytown and he got a big win over Truman’s Jeff Molt, who was a state qualifier last season at 220. Maluia got a takedown midway through the first period and worked a pin at 1:48.
“I was just trying to not get shot on and focusing on my body locks,” Maluia said. “I am just focusing on state.”
It was a good win for Maluia as he will head into a district that is loaded with talent at 285.
“Right now there are kids ranked third, fourth and fifth (in the state rankings) in that weight class in our district,” Addison said. “It’s a tough one.”
Like his brother Peyton, Ethan Moses bumped up a weight class to get one match in. He went up to 113 from 106 and defeated Kevin Jackson by pin in 2:43 as he’s eyeing a return trip to state. He earned a forfeit win against Truman to improve to 41-3.
“He’s only lost three matches this year and two of them were at 113,” Addison said of Ethan. “He lost to a kid from Kansas at 106. He’s still in good shape and brings it every match and usually gets a pin for us.”
Other Falcons to go 2-0 on the day were Caleb Allee (160) and CJ Batchelder (170), whose lone contested match resulted in a 41-second pin.
For the shorthanded Patriots, who only had six active varsity wrestlers, Jesus Carbajal (285) got a forfeit victory against Raytown; David Brack (220) got a second-period pin over Van Horn’s Brandon Elhoff; Dylan McCutcheon (132) pinned Van Horn’s Steven Campos in the second period; Jason Chapman (138) earned a forfeit victory against the Falcons; and Nathan Noda (145) pinned Van Horn’s Chandler Seavers in 1:18.
“Chase Schroeder didn’t make weight today, and we had a couple of guys who were dinged up,” Truman coach Levi Goes said. “We were about four short of what we normally are. It makes a big difference.”