Parkway South Invitational is one of the top early season wrestling tournaments
By: Warren Mayes
The annual Parkway South Invitational will finish Saturday (Dec. 1) and Patriots coach James Lake is excited to see how his squad does in the tournament.
The two-day tournament begins at 5 p.m. Friday (Nov. 30) and resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday. The finals will begin around 2 p.m.
Teams competing are host Parkway South, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Howell, Howell North, Jackson, Vianney, St. Louis University High, Mehlville, Rock Bridge, Hickman, and Pattonville. Jackson won the team title last year.
“The competition in the tournament is always top notch,” Lake said. “This is one of the best tournaments in the state for the first weekend of the season.”
The admission to the event is $3 for youngsters and $5 or adults.
“The crowd is usually quite large for the two days,” Lake said. “The tournament is run in two gyms over the two days. The parent and community volunteers really make this thing possible.”
The tournament is a point of pride for Parkway South.
“We are very proud to be hosting one of the top tournaments in the area for the early part of the season,” Lake said.
Such competition will be a good measuring stick to see how the matmen do after just practicing.
“I think our kids are ready to get on the mat,” Lake said. “You have to go into every competition with the mindset of winning it. When the first whistle blows you find out where you are in your training and what you are made of.
“One of the great things about it being a tournament in the first week is everyone is seeing how they stack up.”
The tourney features many talented grapplers including Columbia Hickman’s J’den Cox, who wrestles at 220. Cox is nationally ranked and a defending state champ.
For his own wrestlers, Lake is eager to see how the perform in competition. After all the training, it’s time to get out there in front of a crowd and go.
“It’s a great measuring stick,” Lake said. “You work hard during the preseason, but until you get on the mat with other schools, you don’t truly know where you are in your training.”