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Pescaglia injures foot in state final, finishes second

Saturday, February 21, 2009 | 10:01 p.m. CST; updated 3:04 p.m. CST, Sunday, February 22, 2009
Hickman senior Vince Pescaglia winces in pain after Park Hill junior Alan Waters landed on his left foot late in the second period of the Class 4 119-pound title match at the MSHSAA state wrestling tournament on Feb. 21 at Mizzou Arena. Pescaglia lost the match 13-5.

COLUMBIA – Hickman senior Vince Pescaglia lost a 13-5 decision Saturday against two-time state champion Alan Waters a senior from Park Hills. The win gave Waters his third straight state title.

Trailing 7-4 late in the second period, Vince Pescaglia came up hobbling with an injured left foot. Despite the injury,  Pescaglia fought through the pain and finished the match, but was clearly hindered by the foot.

“I heard it pop,” Pescaglia said. “It hurt really bad, but I decided to fight through it.”

The match not only marked the end of Vince Pescaglia’s high school career, but also the end of an era for Hickman wrestling. Vince Pescaglia's older brothers, K.C. Pescaglia and Tony Pescaglia each won two state titles for the Kewpies.

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Tony Pescaglia was on the mat, assisting Hickman coach J.D. Coffman while he was coaching his brother.

“I was not liking the butterflies,” Tony Pescaglia said. “When I wrestled I could use that to get it all out, but now that I’m coaching, I have to sit there and say, ‘Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh, hurry up.'”

After not placing at the state tournament last year because of a neck injury, Vince Pescaglia considers this season a success - even though he didn’t win a state title like his brothers once did.

“I always wanted to be in the state finals,” Vince Pescaglia said. “I wrestled as hard as I could out there. I didn’t get everything I wanted, but I’m still happy because I got second in the state. I’m the second-best wrestler in the state of Missouri.”

Even with his successful high school career, Vince Pescaglia doesn’t plan on wrestling at MU, where he will be attending college in the fall.

Because Vince Pescaglia is staying in Columbia for college, Hickman coach J.D. Coffman is hopeful that he will continue to contribute to the wrestling program.

“Obviously, we’re going to take advantage of the brothers as long as they’re going to the university to work with our kids, and imparting the knowledge that they have from all of their years of experience as well,” Coffman said.


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