KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Casey Jumps received a simple message from his coaches before taking the mat: “Go win it.” They weren’t just talking about his match, either.
Despite an early run of wins, Team Missouri needed Jumps’ pin against Royal Valley’s Blake Garrison at 220 pounds to officially lock up a fifth consecutive victory in the annual Metro Classic, held Tuesday, March 7 on the campus of Kansas City (Kan.) Community College.
Liberty’s Zane Shaddox followed with a decision to finish off a 35-16 victory for the Show-Me State, which now holds a 17-8 all-time advantage in the matchup of top seniors from the KC Metro on either side of the line.
Missouri won six straight matches after an opening loss to take a 23-3 advantage but were holding a 26-16 lead when Jumps took the mat with a chance to make it official. Kansas needed bonus point win in each of the last two matches to have a shot, and Jumps wasted little time ending the hopes.
“I’ve been coming to these for a while,” said Jumps, who recently became the 44th state champion in Platte County history with his 2-1 decision in the Class 3 Missouri State Wrestling Championships’ 220-pound title match. “I knew what the atmosphere was going to be like and it’s always fun. It was just nice to be the one to lock it up. I’m just thankful I was the one to be able to lock it up.
“Exclamation point, icing on the cake, whatever you want to call it. It was cool.”
Jumps’ opponent looked overmatched.
Garrison was the last wrestler to commit to participate after placing sixth at 220 in Class 3-2-1A last weekend. Jumps pounced for the opening takedown and then twice put Garrison to his back, scoring the fall late in the first period.
Jumps stood up and motioned to the Missouri crowd.
With a career record of 129-42, Jumps entered as a three-time Class 3 state qualifier and two-time medalist at 220 (fifth in 2016, first in 2017). He was the clear favorite but didn’t want to take his opponent for granted.
Missouri’s Connor Brown (Oak Grove), a four-time state champion, lost in overtime to open the dual at 113. Kansas lost the next six but nearly scored pins in the first two matches after an intermission.
Smithville’s Jake Boyd — a two-time state champion — had a chance to win the dual for Missouri at 195, the match ahead of Jumps, but he tired late in a 17-12 loss to Bonner Springs’ Sean Singleton, a one-time medalist in Class 4A (second, 2017).
“You don’t want to lose in this match because you’ll hear about it,” said Jumps, who became the 23rd Platte County wrestler to participate in the Metro Classic — held for the 25th time. “I wanted to get the fall for the team.”