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High school wrestling: Fierce foes clash today in Park Hills

Ste. Genevieve’s Justin Schwent (right) finds himself in a fireman’s carry from Levi Wiegand during practice on Wednesday, Nov. 24. The Dragons open the 2021-22 season tonight at Central High School in Park Hills. (PHOTO BY ERIC VICCARO/Herald staff)


Why not start the high school wrestling season with your biggest rival?

That’s how it must feel for Ste. Genevieve’s boys’ and girls’ grapplers, who begin the season with a dual tonight versus Park Hills Central. 

The first matches will begin at 5 p.m. in Foulon Field House, with varsity around 6.

“The kids get excited about this dual,” said Ste. Genevieve head wrestling coach Jared Bonnell. “They seem to enjoy the rivalry that carries over from football, and look forward to the first dual on our schedule.”

The Ste. Genevieve wrestling schedule is chock full with tournaments, beginning with Westminster Christian Academy on Saturday, Dec. 4. 

Other boys’ tournaments will be at Union on Dec. 10-11, Moberly Dual Tournament Dec. 17-18, Ste. Genevieve Duals on Jan. 8 and St. Charles on Jan. 14-15.

The girls will travel for the following tournaments: Westminster (Dec. 4-5), Eldon (Dec. 17-18), Wonder Woman (Dec. 29-30) at Battle, Central Rebel Invitational in Park Hills (Jan. 8), St. Charles (Jan. 14-15) and Seckman (Jan. 29).

This will mark the Dragons’ first-ever participation in the St. Charles Tournament, and this will be the Ste. Genevieve girls’ debut at Eldon.

Like last year, there will be both boys and girls Southeast Missouri Wrestling Conference Tournaments. 

The boys will wrestle at Poplar Bluff on Jan. 21-22. The girls’ tournament is set for Jan. 20 at Jackson.

Bonnell said this year’s SEMO tournament will return to normal with Classes 1-4 competing against one another for the conference title — it will not be split by large and small school enrollment sizes.

The postseason begins with the girls’ district meet on Feb. 4-5, at a yet-to-be-determined location. The boys’ meet will be Feb. 11-12, with that location also undetermined.

The highlight of the season will be the 11th Annual Ste. Genevieve Dual Tournament, which will feature Owensville, Deter, Valle Catholic, Mehlville and Windsor.

“We love having a home tournament,” Bonnell said. “It allows us to showcase our great school and community. Our kids take a lot of pride being able to compete in a tournament in their own gym.”

The girls’ district draw will not be released until Friday, Dec. 10, said Ste. Genevieve R-II athletic director Dr. Jeff Nix.

(Editor’s Note: For the complete story and statistics, subscribe to either the print or electronic editions of the Ste. Genevieve Herald. Subscribe: 1-573-883-2222.)