To say that the atmosphere in Mizzou Arena was electric at Saturday’s MSHSAA Wrestling Championships would be an understatement. Looking around, the grind of three days worth of blood, sweat and tears was evident on the faces of wrestlers, coaches, parents and officials as the culmination of their hard work came to a close. For Carthage junior, Kale Schrader, determination marked a quest to stand at the top of the podium on the stage of the state’s most talented grapplers.
Entering this week’s state tournament, Schrader boasted an undefeated record of 50-0…not that you’d know it after spending any time around the guy who jokingly refers to himself as “Hercules”.
With a dedicated work ethic that is constantly balanced out with jokes and good-natured goofiness, Schrader prides himself on bringing a certain levity to the team through encouragement and humor. This weekend was no exception.
Preparing for Saturday evening’s finals round, Schrader was every bit the focused athlete as he maintained as much of his usual warm-up routine as possible in the crowded arena. “I had watched videos before the match (of Sharp) so I knew how he wrestled,” Schrader said. “My goal was to come out hard the first period and then score points the second and third period.” In a sport where intimidation is a commonly used tactic, Kale Schrader found himself sticking with the same things that have worked for him all year long: working hard and maintaining a sense of humor. While wrestlers in the 220 lb. weight class were introduced, Schrader and his opponent, Park Hill’s Ashton Sharp, paced the mats in anticipation and eagerness. As is typical when reputations and records are on the line, Sharp let everyone know he came to compete as he commenced his stare down of Schrader from the middle of the mat. In his typical style, Schrader simply responded with a wink and a smile that set the tone for his match.
While the first period ended scoreless for both Sharp and Schrader, both wrestlers found themselves gaining a feel for the other’s style and tactics. As the second period progressed, Sharp found himself unable to escape the hold Schrader maintained, and was turned to his back, allowing Schrader to score the first two points of the match with a near fall. In the third period, Schrader’s 2-0 lead became 3-0 as he escaped from the bottom position to take both wrestlers back to neutral. And it was the Kale Schrader show from that point on, as Sharp struggled to maintain his wind and failed to score. With about 35 seconds to go, Sharp attempted a throw, and Schrader maneuvered him to his back for the fall. Amidst the screams and cheers, Carthage’s Kale Schrader became the undefeated MSHSAA Wrestling State Champion at 220 lbs.
“The transition from Class 1 to Class 4 was tough,” Schrader explained. “The other wrestlers and coaches helped me transition well to a new school and bigger class, and that hard work ultimately paid off. That was probably the most enjoyable part of this season, was the relationships I built and how everyone took me in. I feel like I’ve lived here my whole life.”
So after the pictures, phone calls, hugs, congratulations and smiles, what does a state champion want next out of life? Turns out it’s dinner and some quality time with friends. Congratulations to Kale Schrader and the rest of the Carthage Wrestling team and staff for a great season and a tenth place Class 4 finish at this year’s MSHSAA Wrestling Championships.
Top 10 Team Scores for the 60 schools in Class 4
2—Liberty—159.5—ranked 13th in the nation according to intermat
3—Park Hill—146.5—ranked 15th in the nation according to intermat
9—Francis Howell Central—54
Weight—Name—Grade—Tournament Record—Season Record—Placement
Lost by fall in 5:07 to Devin Haag—Seckman—placed 5th
Won by decision 8-7 over Tyler Bierman—Holt
Won by decision 9-4 over Orion Bowers—Lee’s Summit West
Lost by decision 4-8 to Riley Wiseman—Jackson—placed 6th
Lost by fall in 2:37 to Jayden Carson—Lafayette—placed 3rd
Won by decision 10-6 over Brandon Khoury—Timberland
Won by decision 4-2 over Jackson Shea—Battle
Lost by major decision 2-15 to Alec Bailey—Jackson—placed 6th
Won by major decision 15-6 over Jastin Robertson—Blue Springs
Won by decision 3-1 over Ryan Lester—Eureka
Lost by technical fall 3-19 to Ethen Miller—Park Hill
Lost by decision 6-8 to Kyle Dutton—Liberty
Won by decision 7-0 over Teddy Hickey—Ft. Zumwalt North
Won by decision 5-4 over Nathan Undertajlo—Holt
Lost by fall in 1:10 to Vincent Zerban—CBC—placed 1st
Lost by fall in 4:15 to Jack Lenox—Marquette
Lost by fall in 0:41 to Dawson Javier—Lindbergh—placed 5th
Lost by major decision 0-8 to Josh Rieck—Fort Osage
Lost by fall in 0:33 to Blake Hopson—Park Hill—placed 2nd
Lost by decision 1-3 to Alex Hart—Chaminade
220—Kale Schrader—11—(4-0)—(54-0)—1st—ranked 17th in the nation according to intermit
Won by fall in 1:11 over Luke Joggerst—Fox
Won by fall in 4:47 over Jared Neel—Staley
Won by overtime decision 2-1 over Matt Gentry—Eureka—placed 3rd
Won by fall in 5:31 over Ashton Sharp—Park Hill—placed 2nd
won by decision 7-6 over Simon Tesfamarian–Park Hill
won by fall in 5:07 over Isiah Brisseaux–Marquette
lost by fall in 2:55 to Jacobi Jackson–Desmet–placed 2nd
lost by fall in 4:00 to Preston Wiss–Staley–placed 3rd
lost by fall in 0:45 to Chase McCoy–Timberland–placed 5th