84th MSHSAA Wrestling Championships

Hornets set to get down to Class 2 title pursuit

Josh McClure doesn’t mince words when assessing potential.

The 113-pound sophomore is one of nine Fulton wrestlers who qualified for the Class 2 state championships starting at 10 this morning at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. The strong unit will attempt to surpass the Hornets’ second-place finish last year and reach the Class 2 summit by obtaining a state team title this time around.

McClure — who is unbeaten on the season at 30-0 and coming off a district championship last weekend in Mexico — understands that prospects are irrelevant if objectives aren’t realized. He enjoyed a breakout performance in his first appearance at last year’s state championships, finishing second at 106 pounds.

“It doesn’t mean anything if you can’t compete at the end,” McClure said Tuesday afternoon during practice in the wrestling room that overlooks the high school’s Roger D. Davis Gymnasium.

McClure and Fulton’s two other district champions — 220-pound senior Paul Books and 182-pound sophomore Zach Benner — head up the Hornets’ state qualifiers. Books captured a state title at 195 pounds in 2013 and is a three-time qualifier, while Benner is 30-2 this season and medalled with a fourth-place finish at 170 pounds at last year’s state championships.

Fulton’s remaining qualifiers include sophomore Trenton Clines at 138 pounds, senior John Kingsley (195), sophomores Clayton Bristol (285) and Andy Baysinger (152), and freshmen Brandon Dews (126) and Devan Hudson (106).

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