West Platte wrestling qualifies 3 for state

For the second time in three years, West Platte sends three to the Class 1 Missouri State Wrestling Championships. Justin Rhodes earned his third straight berth, while Devin Driskell and Dalton Larison became first-time qualifiers for the Bluejays, who scored 75 team points and finished eighth out of 15 teams in the Class 1 District 3 standings this past weekend. West Platte also qualified three in 2013 when Rhodes made the state finals at 126 pounds. He went back last year but did not medal in the 145 bracket.

A junior, Rhodes represents the best chance for the Bluejays to make it three straight years with at least one state medal.

Rhodes improved to 52-1 on the season and captured the 152 district title at Lathrop High School. He scored pins in his first two matches before beating Jarek Brown of Wentworth Military Academy in a 6-0 decision in the championship bout.

Driskell (28-22) came back to place third at 113 pounds.

After a quarterfinal loss, Driskell received a bye on the backside of the bracket and then won three straight, including a 7-6 decision against Caden Waltemeyer of Lawson in the consolation semifinals to assure his trip to state. He pinned Holden’s Domanic Robinson in the third-place match to receive a more favorable seed this week at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo.

Larison lost his first and last match to Lafayette County’s Trenton Hoeflicker, who scored pins in both. In between, Larsion won three and punched his ticket to state with a pin of Lawson’s Gage Franklin in the consolation semifinals.

Brayan Rodriguez (120), Kyle Howerton (160) and Cameron Johnson (182) were all eliminated with losses in the consolation semifinals, one win shy of qualification. Howerton reached the semifinals before losing two straight.