Hickman, Rock Bridge wrestlers prepare for tough district tournament

Friday, February 12, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA— Hickman and Rock Bridge wrestlers start their postseason this weekend at the Class 4, District 3  tournament in Jefferson City.

Hickman coach J.D. Coffman and Rock Bridge coach Travis Craig said their wrestlers have worked hard and are ready. Hickman is led by freshman J’den Cox, who has only lost three matches this season. Despite only being a freshman, Cox said he is not nervous about the postseason.

District Tournament

Class 4, District 3 meet

WHEN:  4 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. Saturday

WHERE: Jefferson City High School

“To be honest, I really haven’t thought about districts much,” Cox said. “I’m just keeping my mind clear. It’s just another match. But I’m excited, I know that much.”

Coffman said he thinks Cox has a solid chance of qualifying for state. However, Coffman said the other Kewpies wrestlers, including freshman Alex Shea, will have to step up to advance.

“The rest of our kids will have to wrestle the best tournament that they’ve wrestled this season if they want to make it through because there are so many stacked weight classes at this tournament,” Coffman said.

Coffman said that even though Cox and Shea have experience in a youth club state meet, the high school district tournament will be a challenge for them.

“It’s just a little different at the high school level,” Coffman said. “It’s freshmen wrestling against seniors, whereas for the kids club, it’s the same age group. With both of them being freshmen, they’re going to have to go up against some seniors and do well.”

Rock Bridge junior Josh Braselton, who has only lost two matches this season, leads the Bruins into districts.

“Everyone’s got to wrestle extremely tough this weekend if they want to make it through to state,” Craig said. “No one’s guaranteed a spot in the top four. (Braselton’s) got a great shot but he has four tough kids in his weight class, so he’s got to show up.”

The Class 4, District 3 tournament includes four of the top-10 ranked teams in the state, including No. 3 Ft. Zumwalt West, No. 4 Blue Springs, No. 7: Jefferson City and No. 9: Troy-Buchanan.

"I’m just ready for it,” Braselton said. “I’ve been waiting for this all season. I’m ready to go.”

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