Pat Elmore doesn’t know what to expect Saturday.
He only wants to win.
Elmore, a 125-pound senior, will wrestle in his first Rock Bridge Tournament of Champions.
“I want to set an example for the team by winning on the mats,” Elmore said. “I mean, I lead drills and stuff, but mostly, I want to do it by winning.”
Bruins coach John Kopnisky said Elmore is a silent leader.
“He’s not vocal,” Kopnisky said. “He tells the guys what to do by going out there and doing it.”
The tournament begins at 10 a.m. with two mats set up for five teams.
Hannibal, Marshall, Boonville and Carmel (Ind.) are expected to compete with the Bruins (2-0-1).
Hickman’s Tony Pescaglia (103) was the only local wrestler to win a title last year.
Elmore said that this tournament is different from past years, so he doesn’t know what to expect.
“I’m excited to have people come and watch us at home,” Elmore said. “It used to be the big team tournament, now it’s a few teams wrestling a dual-style tournament so I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Kopnisky said Elmore is showing more dedication and improvement. Elmore, who wrestled a few varsity matches as a sophomore, is 7-5.
“His techniques are shining through,” Kopnisky said. “You can just tell when he’s on the mat what he is picking up from practice.”
Elmore said he has become more comfortable.
“Last year I had no clue what I was going to do,” Elmore said. “This year, I have a plan in my mind and I’m watching coach more, looking at his hand movements while I’m wrestling.”
Kopnisky said the Bruins’ style of wrestling is to wear out their opponents. Elmore is a wrestler who has also shown significant improvement in conditioning, he said.
On Dec. 2 against Boonville, Elmore scored a three-point near fall in the third period. He defeated Steve Beiswinger 8-6.
In his most recent match, Elmore won with a three-point near fall in the third period. He defeated Hickman’s K.C. Pescaglia 7-6 on Tuesday.
“It wasn’t my best,” Elmore said. “I made a lot of mistakes, but in the third period I am still looking to get some points.”