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Five Eagles Wrestlers Led By State Champion Finish From Daylen Greene At State Meet

 

Eagle State Champion… Eagle senior wrestler Daylen Greene (left) wrestles to a championship finish in the 120-pound weight class at the Class 1 MSHSAA Wrestling Championships at Mizzou Arena in Columbia on Thursday, Feb. 22. In the title bout, Greene defeated Lathrop wrestler Garrett Beane by decision in a final score of 4-3. Photo By Steve Edwards

The Eagles boys wrestling team closed out the 20th season of the Holden wrestling program with five wrestlers competing at the Class 1 MSHSAA Wrestling Championships at Mizzou Arena in Columbia on Wednesday, Feb. 21, and Thursday, Feb. 22.

Eagles state qualifiers Daylen Greene, CJ Reifsteck, Andrew Johnston, Aiden Christian, and Trent Stout turned in a seventh-place team finish among the 49 teams represented at the state championships.

Greene ascended to the top spot on the medal podium in his weight class after turning in a state champion performance as Christian and Stout also made appearances on the medal stand in top-six all-state placings.

“Our finish at seventh in the state this year is the best that the Holden boys have ever finished as a team,” said Holden boys wrestling coach Matt Hertzog. “We also qualified more male wrestlers this year than we have since 2019, which was great. It was fitting that on the 20th anniversary of our program’s beginning we have enjoyed such a high level of achievement. A lot of coaches, volunteers, parents, and community members contributed to our overall success, and we are all blessed to be a part of the Holden wrestling family.”

Greene’s senior season ended with the four-year team member collecting his fourth career all-state medal.

Wrestling in the 120-pound weight class, Greene swept through four matches without a loss to secure the first-place medal and the title of state champion.

“Daylen has had a phenomenal career, and his accomplishments will serve as an inspiration to our younger wrestlers for years to come,” said coach Hertzog. “His accomplishments, records, and accolades are all a testament to the power of what someone can do with a lot of dedication, hard work year-round, and immense family support.”

Greene’s romp to the first-place match included a first-round win by pin and a win by major decision in the quarterfinals.

“They were good matches with kids at state, but I was hungry this year and I was ready,” said Greene in regard to his early-round matches. “I knew I had to blow through them to get to where I am.”

A semifinal victory over Macon wrestler Rhett Pollard moved Greene into the 120-pound title bout which would play out on a corner mat directly in front of the seating section in which the Holden fans sat during the tournament, and the same mat on which Greene wrestled to a state runner-up finish last year during his junior season.

In the title bout against Lathrop wrestler Garrett Beane, the second period ended with the score tied at 2-2. In the final period, Beane scored on an escape to go up by a point before Greene scored a late takedown to take the lead with a 4-3 score. Greene rode out the final seconds of the match before celebrating the victory on the mat in front of the Holden fans.

“It’s not even real, man,” said Greene standing with coaches Hertzog and David Diener in the athletes’s tunnel at Mizzou Arena moments after the title bout. “It’s all that I’ve worked for. It just doesn’t feel real.”

Facing an unfamiliar foe in Beane, Greene forged the match result through tenacity and fundamentals.

“I knew very little about him,” said Greene. “I had to wrestle my way, had to get some stuff to go my way, and just wrestle smart, wrestle hard, stay aggressive. That was my whole plan.”

Having his hand raised after the win in front of his hometown fans sealed the moment.

“It was crazy,” said Greene. “I mean, it was the perfect scenario. You couldn’t have dreamt it up any better. They mean everything to me, so to win it right in front of them, it’s crazy. It’s perfect.”

Christian placed third in the 285-pound weight class after suffering a first-round loss by decision. The junior class wrestler who returned this season after missing most of last year’s season with an injury responded to the early loss with four straight wins on the consolation backside of the bracket to move into the third-place match.

In the third-place match, Christian recorded a win by pin in the second period over St. Pius X (KC) wrestler Kyler Kuhn.

“Kind of everything went blank in my head…kind of like I realized that I had won it,” said Christian. “After the ref slapped the mat, I kind of blacked out…everything went fuzzy until I stood up and saw everyone cheering for me. It was a very long and tiring process, especially the way I had to fight to get this third-place match, but in the end it’s all worth it.”

Christian carried previous experience gained from a state qualification during his freshman season into this year’s tournament.

“Last time I came here, I won one match, and then got knocked out in the blood rounds,” recalled Christian. “It almost feels like a dream right now because I mean, just not being able to wrestle last year, and coming back and doing this just feels amazing.”

Christian noted the opportunity to close out the season with his four teammates at the state tournament. “It just feels like a family outside of home, just having the ones you’ve grown up wrestling with around you. It takes a lot out of someone to wrestle 10-plus years, and almost all these guys have.”
“Aiden is a special athlete,” said coach Hertzog. “It is not an easy thing to do, fighting to the third-place match on the backside of the bracket, but he did what he needed to do and looked impressive doing it. I can’t wait to see him back next year to see what kind of milestones we can hit building on the momentum from this past year. I know that as a senior, he will lead this team with a sense of purpose that comes with experience.”

Appearing in his first state meet, Stout entered competition in the 157-pound weight class with a win, and would finish with a sixth-place finish. A quarterfinal round loss moved the junior to the backside of the bracket where he recorded a win by pin, and a win by decision to guarantee himself a spot on the medal podium. Stout gained a spot in the fifth-place match after losing by decision in the consolation semifinals.

In the fifth-place bout, Stout fell by pin to Missouri Military Academy wrestler Trae Griffiths.

“Stout had one goal this year, and it was to qualify for state,” said coach Hertzog. “You could tell he was hungry and would not be denied his goal. He worked hard all season, used every situation as a learning opportunity, and it paid off big for him with his sixth-place finish. I am so happy to see his hard work pay off, and I am excited to have him lead this team again next year and contribute to the type of intensity and focus that a good practice environment requires.”

“What really stood out to me is that this is my first time making it to state, and my first time making it to state I just placed,” said Stout. “It’s a really great feeling knowing it. I didn’t know how far I was going to make it, I really didn’t, but I’m glad that I was able to get on the podium. That was one of my goals.”

Stout’s medal performance came after dedicating extra effort in the offseason to meet the goal of wrestling in the state tournament.
“I wanted to drill myself as hard as I possibly could because I had that self discipline, and I wanted to be the best,” said Stout. “I wanted coach to drill me as hard as he possibly could. There’s a difference between trying to be the best and wanting to be the best. I wanted it more than most of the people in my weight class. That’s why I made it down here on this podium.”

Stout also noted the opportunity to close out the season with is teammates on the mat, and a large group of supporters in the stands.
“It feels great because these are the guys that I’ve always wrestled with, and I’ve always seen have really good success,” said Stout. “It feels good for me to be able to go up there and be successful, and be able to experience what they’ve experienced before because this is only my first time making it to state and I placed. It’s awesome. I love the support I get…everyone, everyone that’s came, amazing. I love them all. The support is the greatest thing ever.”

Reifsteck turned in a record of 2-2 in his matches in the 175-pound weight class bracket as he competed in his second straight state meet.

Following a first-round loss and a win by pin in the consolation first round, Reifsteck provided a memorable win in the consolation second round. Reifsteck’s win came after his opponent Ty Ward from St. Pius X (KC) seemingly recorded a win in sudden victory on points scored late in the extra period. The watchful eye of Holden assistant coach Tyler Jolly noticed that the points had been awarded to Ward after time had expired. Coach Jolly challenged the final score. After discussion among the mat officials and MSHSAA administrators, Ward was called back to the mat to redo the sudden victory period. Reifsteck would score a takedown in the sudden victory to record the official win in the match.

“I just didn’t think they would even allow him to come back to wrestle the overtime,” said Reifsteck. “Normally, once they raise the hand, that’s it, so for him to come back really surprised me.

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