Hickman defeats Rock Bridge in season-opening wrestling match

Tuesday, November 29, 2011 | 11:55 p.m. CST; updated 12:06 a.m. CST, Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Hickman senior J'den Cox puts Rock Bridge senior Andre McKinnon in a headlock during a wrestling tournament at Hickman High School on Tuesday. Cox's pin of McKinnon in the final match lifted the Kewpies past the Bruins 30-28.

COLUMBIA — Hickman junior J'Den Cox ended a five-hour three-way wrestling meet with a pin of Rock Bridge senior Andre McKinnon in the second round of their 220-pound bout Tuesday night at Hickman High School. 

The pin gave Hickman six points, which lifted the Kewpies past Rock Bridge for a 30-28 victory. The Hickman win meant both teams went 1-1 in their first wrestling competition of the season.

Kirksville opened the match with a 45-34 win over the Kewpies. The Tigers dominated the middle weight classes winning seven of the eight matches between 132 and 195 pounds.

In the second match the Bruins defeated the Tigers 34-33. 

The final match started off with back-to-back overtime matches. The Kewpies came out on top in both the 285- and 106-pound weight classes. Rock Bridge won six of the next seven matches to take a 28-12 lead. 

The Kepwies, though, came back to win the the next three matches to pull within 28-24. That put Cox, a two-time state champion, in position for a pin that would win the match. 

Rock Bridge coach Travis Craig said he was encouraged by his team's first match of the season.

"I think we had some ups and downs for sure today," Craig said. "I saw some really good things from a lot of wrestlers."

Craig said he was not completely satisfied with his team's conditioning.

"I don’t think that we’re in as good of condition as I thought we were coming in to this," Craig said. "Wrestling like this is different than just wrestling in the room."

He said he hopes the loss to Hickman benefits his team in the future.

"A close loss like this is a great motivation," he said.

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