Neosho wrestling rolls to Branson Tournament title

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BRANSON MO NEWS: By Pat Dailey (For OzarkSportsZone.com)
BRANSON — The prospect of a terrific trio of 106-pounders each ranked No. 1 statewide gave the mighty mites top billing entering the Branson Invitational Saturday.
Alas, only two of the top-ranked wrestlers, as pegged by MissouriWrestling.com, competed at 106. But the final between Neosho’s Cayden Auch and Seneca’s Levi Connelly lived up to the hype.
Auch (32-2), ranked No. 1 in Class 3, eked out a 7-6 win versus Connelly (27-3), ranked No. 1 in Class 1. Monett’s Joseph Semerad (36-3), ranked No. 1 in Class 2, was a late scratch at 106 and instead competed at 113.
“I was texting a friend of mine last night and he said (Semerad) had been bumped up,” Auch said. “I was disappointed because I wanted to get a match in with him. But I’ll get one against him in our dual with them. I still knew it was going to be a hard-fought match with everyone I faced.”
Points were plentiful for Auch and Connelly in an action-packed match.
“I got a spladle, but he kind of rolled out of it and caught me on my back,” Auch said. “I got out of it and was telling myself, ‘This is still my match.’”
Only a freshman, Auch appears on his way to fulfilling hopes he can make history at Neosho. He first caught fans’ notice by winning a Winter Nationals championship as a seventh-grader.
“My goal is to be Neosho’s first four-timer,” Auch said, going on to confirm he’s referring to being a four-time state champion. “Our coach knows that and he’s been pushing me in the practice room because he wants me to be a four-timer.”
Auch was one of five Neosho champions Saturday, as the Wildcats rolled to the …


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