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Festus wrestling getting pleasant production from new faces

(Festus) The Festus Tigers are trying to usher in a new generation of wrestling.

The roster is as young as it’s ever been, sporting only one junior and two seniors.

But the young Tiger cubs are starting to make their mark.

Freshman Peyton Shaver is having a dominant debut season, going 29-2 in the 160-pound weight class.

Festus head coach Jared Sheppard says even he’s been surprised at how quickly Shaver has adapted to the level of competition.

The sophomore class in particular is leading the way for Festus, with 10 wrestlers on the roster.

One of the most successful has been Lucas Mercurio, who is 18-8 at 152 pounds and is the captain of the boys’ team.

Sheppard says Mercurio has stepped up as a leader, even as he still learns the ins and outs of the sport.

Mix in 20-win seasons for sophomores Blake Sexton and Robert Buehre, and a growing girls’ team lead by undefeated junior Lauren Mills, and there’s plenty of excitement about the future of Tiger wrestling.

But Sheppard says his concern in the present is to keep making progress.

Festus is slated to return to the mat Wednesday night in a triangular at Potosi.

Jared Sheppard Full Interview

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