COLUMBIA — The Kewpies started down and never recovered.
In its 65-13 home loss to Helias, the Hickman wrestling team began the evening with automatic forfeits in the 103-, 145-, and 215-pound weight classes. The Kewpies were unable to play catchup against an experienced Helias squad with freshmen J’Den Cox and Alex Shea producing Hickman's only wins.
“We’re still a young, inexperienced team, and they came with a lot of seniors and juniors,” Kewpies assistant coach Doug Gordon said. “The Helias wrestling program is a pretty established program.”
The Kewpies did not seem able to catch a break throughout the evening. Not only were they consistently overmatched in the middle weight classes, they also faced an injury to Keith Kimbrough in the 140-pound division.
“He’s been being kind of nagged by that back injury,” Gordon said. “He picked it up over the weekend at Parkway South, and he was doing a little better on Sunday. We gave it a shot, and when they guy did the bear hug … that was it.”
The only bright spots in the evening were Shea's match at 112 pounds and Cox's at 171.
“I expected to actually be a little more competitive than we were tonight,” Hickman head coach J.D. Coffman said.
Despite his disappointment, Coffman said he was pleased with Shea and Cox, and said he hopes to build the team around the two freshmen.
“We expect to build with those young guys around the other guys in our lineup as well,” Coffman said. “They bring some good experience in.”
Coffman said Shea and Cox have been wrestling for years and that they probably have more wrestling experience than the rest of the team combined.
“They have a world of experience,” he said.
The loss was Hickman’s third consecutive in dual meets. The Kewpies lost to Kirksville and Rock Bridge earlier this season. The Kewpies will wrestle next on Friday and Saturday at the Missouri Dual in Jefferson City.