Dubes, Shelton, Wilkerson win gold
Courtesy John Gramke, Fireside Guard wrestling correspondent
The Centralia Panther’s crowned three state champions, placed seven medalists overall and finished as state runner-up in the team race at the 2022 MSHSAA Wrestling Championships at MIZZOU Arena in Columbia February 17-19. Scoring 152 points, Centralia came up just short of Mid-Buchannan’s 171.5, but well ahead of Brookfield’s 107 and St. Michael the Archangel 101.5. Having put forth a maximum effort, Centralia’s seven state qualifiers each brought home state medals, an exceptional performance by any measure, but especially considering Mid-Buchanan entered the tournament with 13 wrestlers. “We brought seven kids and we have seven medalists, said Head Coach Luke Gramke. “Not much more, I could ask. Leaving with three champions is the most in school history and I think the amount of team points we scored is the most in team history. We done what we should have. It was just a little short, not enough.”
Brayden Dubes, 46-2 began the gold-medal drive for Centralia by winning the 120-pound weight class earning his third trip to the finals and his second state championship. Dubes pinned Josh Payne 43-6 of Lexington in the championship match capping his tournament with four consecutive pins and leading team scoring 30 points. “He didn’t get out of the first period and he had four falls this tournament, so he had an excellent showing” said Gramke.
Kyden Wilkerson, 27-2 earned his spot atop the podium winning the 145-pound weight class and his first state title, controlling the action and pace of the match and winning a 15-5 major decision against Kaleb Jestes, 46-10 from Maysville. “I’m the best one here on my feet” said Wilkerson, “and I say that proudly, no one’s better on their feet here than me.” With two pins in the early rounds and win by disqualification in the semi’s, Wilkerson scored 29 team points.
Brayden Shelton completed the CHS champions’ trio winning the 160-pound weight class and first state title undefeated 48-0. A repeat of the district final, Shelton beat Gallatin’s Rodell Sperry 41-4 by a 4-2 decision with a timely third period takedown. “I set it up well” said Shelton, “I set it up the whole match, it just wasn’t there till the end. I wanted it more.” With wins by fall in the opening and quarterfinal rounds and a 14-3 major decision over Colton Kirkham 36-14 from Mid-Buchanan, Shelton scored 27 team points.
For the complete article, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.