Making the most with its three wrestlers, the Borgia wrestling Knights placed 20th in the MSHSAA Class 2 Championships at Mizzou Arena in Columbia Saturday.
Two of Borgia’s three state qualifiers ended the season on the medal stand.
• Senior Dylan Hellebusch (138) became Borgia’s highest-finishing wrestler in program history, taking third place.
• Senior Adam Hellebusch (113) won his fifth-place match to earn his second state medal.
• Senior Reid Posinski (132) reached the quarterfinals before he lost his next two matches.
“It was great getting three young men to qualify for state this year,” Borgia Head Coach Matt Posinski said. “Adam and Dylan qualified again and Reid qualified for the first time. It was a great accomplishment for all three of them. I think that the competition in the district has helped. While we didn’t get everyone where they wanted to be, I am still pleased with the outcome. We may not have met all of our goals this year, we still accomplished a lot. Our overall team wins increased, we had more placements at tournaments and every wrestler improved. For me, the most important accomplishment was that each and every young man improved on the season.”
As a team, the Knights scored 32.5 points to tie Potosi for 20th in the standings.
Mexico won the team standings title with 122 points while Monett was second at 115.5 and Logan-Rogersville ended third at 100.5. Ste. Genevieve (99) and Oak Grove (92) rounded out the top five.
Dylan Hellebusch finished the season as Borgia’s highest-finishing and most decorated wrestler in program history. Hellebusch (39-5) pinned Monett’s Gunnar Bradley in 1:47 in his final match. It was the second time the two matched up in the state meet.
A four-time state qualifier, he also placed fourth last year at 138 pounds, made the bubble round at 136 as a sophomore and qualified at 120 as a freshman.
This year, Hellebusch opened with a 1:33 pin over Maryville’s Connor Weiss in the opening round and then beat Bradley, 4-1 in the quarterfinals.
Fulton’s Tucker Caswell won a 9-6 decision over Hellebusch in the semifinals Friday night. Caswell finished second.
Dylan posted a 7-3 decision over Thomas Henderson of St. James in the fourth-round wrestlebacks. Henderson finished sixth.
That set up the rematch with Bradley, and Hellebusch finished the Monett wrestler midway through the second round.
“Dylan is a four-time qualifier and also improved his placement from last year to finish at third,” Posinski said. “Dylan advanced in his first two rounds by fall and then decision respectively. He faced a tough match by decision in the semifinals to Caswell, who placed second. Dylan pushed through with a decision over Henderson, a rematch from district. Dylan finished strong in his third-place match with a fall at 1:47 over Bradley from Monett. What a way to finish your high school career.”
Adam Hellebusch ended the season at 37-10 and closed as a two-time medalist and three-time state qualifier.
Finishing sixth last season, Hellebusch took another step up the podium in his final campaign with the Knights. He qualified at 106 pounds as a sophomore, but didn’t reach the medal rounds.
This year, Hellebusch opened with a 15-0 technical fall in 4:13 against Luther Evans of Kirksville.
Hellebusch ran into the eventual runner-up, Matthew Bahl of Monett, in the second round and lost by a 6-2 decision.
Moving into Friday’s wrestlebacks, Hellebusch posted two wins to reach the medal rounds. He won by forfeit over Savannah’s Will Courtney and by a 5-3 decision over Connor Keithley of Chillicothe.
In a rematch of the district championship bout, Hellebusch lost 4-0 to Ste. Genevieve’s Nathan Geisner. The district match had been scored 6-0, so it was an improvement.
In the fifth-place match, Hellebusch ran into an old friend in O’Fallon Christian’s Jonathan Cochrum. The two have grappled multiple times this season, including the in Archdiocesan Athletic Association title bout, where Cochrum won, 2-1. Both wrestlers had won during the previous matches.
This time, Hellebusch prevailed, 3-1, to capture fifth place.
“I think that one of the best things about wrestling is some of the friendships and the mutual respect you develop with other wrestlers,” Posinski said. “I think it was very fitting that Adam finished his high school career facing off against Jon Cochrum from O’Fallon Christian. Jon has been a competitor and friend for the four years. This season they faced off four times and were split 2-2.”
Posinski (132) ran into the fourth-place wrestler, Mexico’s Dylan Patton, in the opening round. Patton won by an 11-2 major decision.
In the wrestleback round Thursday, Posinski earned the right to come back with a win. He posted a 16-3 major decision over Cameron’s Zane Jenkins.
Odessa’s Gavin Gross, who ended fifth, knocked Posinski out of the tournament, 5-2. Posinski finished the season at 29-10
“Reid Posinski just missed qualifying last year but was able to get it done this year,” Matt Posinski said. “We were proud of that accomplishment. We knew going into the tournament that he had a tough bracket and a tough draw. He faced a very technical opponent in Patton from Mexico and lost. Then came back with a major decision over Jenkins from Cameron. Then lost by decision to Gross from Odessa in a tight match. There were several attempts by Reid for reversals but he was not able to get them or they were out of bounds.”
Coach Posinski knows graduating all three of the state qualifiers will be tough for the program, but feels there are other wrestlers who potentially could follow in their footsteps.
Freshman Joseph Lause (106) went 23-16 in his rookie season and reached the district bubble match.
Grant Straatmann (145) was another wrestler Posinski pointed out. He was 11-14 as a first-year wrestler. He won one match at the district tournament.
“With a young program and not having a feeder system, I am pleased with the growth the program has experienced and the results we have achieved, but I’m not satisfied,” Posinski said. “There is still a lot more room for growth for us as a program and a team. Having three seniors who qualified will help us to grow the program in the future. It will be different not having a Hellebusch on the roster, but we have several up-and-comers who I am excited about and look forward to the upcoming seasons and their future and the future of the Borgia wrestling program.”