Willard senior wrestler Hunter Yeargan is headed to Athens.
The 2015 state champion at 195 pounds announced his commitment Tuesday to wrestle at Ohio University.
As a senior, Yeargan placed second at 195 pounds at the Class 3 state championships at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
Yeargan said his visit to the Ohio University campus solidified his choice.
“I went and stayed up there one weekend and I really liked the coaches and liked the team, and I liked what they offered me school-wise and academically,” Yeargan said. “I want to major in something in the business field.”
Yeargan entered the 2016 state tournament 50-0, but his winning streak ended in the final when Washington’s Jared Rennick (52-3) won a 4-3 decision with a third period takedown.
“I was up 3-2 with about 30 seconds left and lost my footing, the next thing I know we’re in a scramble and he got behind and got two (points),” Yeargan said.
Losses were rare for the four-time state qualifier. Yeargan went 38-6 at 170 pounds as a freshman, 53-3 at 182 pounds as a sophomore, 45-1 at 195 pounds as a junior and is 53-1 at 195 pounds as a senior.
Add it all up, you have a stellar 189-11 varsity career.
Extremely blessed to announce that I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at the University of Ohio. pic.twitter.com/jDdcoqFDXy— Hunter Yeargan (@HunterYeargan) February 23, 2016
Yeargan was back to being upbeat after announcing his commitment to the Bobcats, but said he will remember the match with Rennick.
“I came to the realization that I’ve got to use that for motivation in the future,” Yeargan said. “It’s been tough.”
Yeargan’s senior record of 53-1 included tournament wins in Class 3 District 3, the Central Ozark Conference Large Division championships, the Francis Howell Central Invitational, the Republic Invitational, the Monett Tournament, the Harrisonville Christmas Tournament and the 28th Annual Neosho Wrestling Tournament.
Yeargan waited until after the 2016 state championships to announce his college decision. The all-state running back ended speculation that he might pursue a college football career by committing to the Ohio wrestling program about three weeks ago, but Yeargan withheld going public with his choice until after the Willard Tigers wrestled at state.
The Ohio Bobcats compete in the NCAA Division I Mid-American Conference. Yeargan plans to compete for the starting job in the 197-pound weight class.
“The way they talk I should be able to come right in and be someone who can make an impact right away,” Yeargan said.