A K.C. masterpiece: Kansas City area wrestlers flex their muscles at national meet
Pennsylvania. Minnesota. Iowa. Ohio. They are the answers to the following question: What are some of the hotbeds of wrestling? It may not be long before you can add another area to the list. Kansas City, mostly known for the Chiefs of the NFL an...
Pennsylvania. Minnesota. Iowa. Ohio.
They are the answers to the following question: What are some of the hotbeds of wrestling?
It may not be long before you can add another area to the list.
Kansas City, mostly known for the Chiefs of the NFL and the Royals of major league baseball, is hoping another sport comes to prominence.
The Kansas City area had a big day Monday in the USA Wrestling Cadet Greco-Roman tournament. Seven wrestlers from that area earned All-American status, including two who won titles.
"We have some guys who are getting tougher and tougher," said Shane Nay, a champion at 135 pounds.
It's been a gradual build, perhaps taking as long as 19 years.
That's how long Gary Mayabb has been coaching in the area and he's not alone.
Several high school coaches, including Mayabb, are graduates of Central Missouri State.
They've remained close, helping each other in building high school programs.
"We have a very tight-knit circle right now in Kansas City," Mayabb said.
It was evident two years ago when Kansas City produced four Cadet and one Junior national champion. This year is already close to that excellence.
Deron Winn won the 189-pound title - his second Greco-Roman title - and was named the tournament's outstanding wrestler.
"All of us have been wrestling a long time and we just keep going at it as we get older," Winn said.
Dom Bradley finished second at 215, Dylan Joiner at 130 and Brent Haynes at 145 each took third, Clarence Neely took fifth at 160 and Tyler Holloway was seventh at 119.
"We got overlooked this year but I think everybody knows what's up now," Winn said.
There's more on the way.
Three Kansas City kids won USA Wrestling Schoolboy titles this summer. They will be Cadets next year.
"We have a lot of very dedicated people," Mayabb said. "We're traveling more now and that is helping us. We think it's coming and now it's a matter of getting other people to see that."
Missouri took second last month in the Cadet Dual National Championships, losing 34-31 to Pennsylvania.
"Right now as a state, we're pretty excited," Mayabb said.
Nay had the most exciting match of the finals, waiting until the last second to get a two-point exposure on Jake Salazar of Midway, Utah, to win 4-3.
Winn didn't wait at all. He won 14-3 by technical fall at 189 pounds. He won his first five matches by technical fall all the while not giving up a point in any of them.
It was just another step in his city's quest for success.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack at (701) 241-5546