Tigers send three to state wrestling tournament

Tigers send three to state wrestling tournament

Andy Fernandez

Take Down: O’Neil works on a pin against a wrestler from Eureka to ensure his spot in the state tournament.

Three OHS wrestlers qualified for state at the district wrestling tournament at Lindbergh High School last weekend (Feb. 10-11).  Jimmy Broderick (11), Tyrone Willis (11) and Dominic O’Neil (10) will all be going to the state wrestling meet in Columbia, MO this weekend.

“It was 2006 when we last sent three to state,” head coach Brett Lieberoff said. “It has been a lot of twos and ones in years past.”

Last season, O’Neil came just one match away from qualifying for state. After finishing the season with a 33-11 record, he was able to qualify, finishing third in the 126 lb. weight class for districts.

“Being a freshman last year was kind of nerve racking for him,” Lieberoff said. “This year, he has really wrestled well and we brought him down a weight class this year to give him a better shot at going.”

After being knocked out early at districts last season, Broderick was able to imrove during the offseason and qualify for state after placing second in districts with a 3-1 record. Broderick is currently ranked fifth in state among heavyweights, finishing the regular season with a 40-3 record.

“He really refocused himself after last year, it kind of seemed like his head wasn’t in it last year and he was kind of going through the motions,” Lieberoff said. “This year and in the offseason, he really stepped it up and was a man on a mission this year.”

Going into the district meet with a 10-11 record, nobody expected Willis to qualify for state. After winning his first three matches, Willis was able to overcome his struggles during the season and finish second in the 220 lb. weight class at districts.

“I came in here as the underdog,” Willis said. “I really didn’t expect to get this far, but discipline comes a long way and when you have these coaches and the motivation to do it, anything is possible.”

The state wrestling tournament will start this Thursday, Feb. 16 at Mizzou in Columbia, MO.