Over 1,000 wrestling matches will take place this weekend at Mizzou Arena for the 2015 State Wrestling Championships (photo/MSHSAA)

Over 1,000 wrestling matches will take place this weekend at Mizzou Arena for the 2015 State Wrestling Championships (photo/MSHSAA)

Grapplers from across the state will be heading to Columbia for the start of the 2014-15 High School Wrestling Championships at Mizzou Arena beginning on Thursday.  672 matches will take place over eight mats, during two, five-hour sessions on Thursday, followed by another 600 matches over 12 hours on Friday.

Jason West, Communications Director for MSHSAA, calls the wrestling championships his favorite to cover, because of the fans.

“The knowledge base of the sport itself is extremely high and very passionate about the event…a close knit community,” West said in our Google Hangout (watch below).

Park Hill looks to three-peat their team title, having won in 2014 and 2013.  After a second and third place finish the prior two season.  Park Hill also won the Class 4 championship in 2010 and 2009.  They are a perennial top-three finisher.  In Class 3, Neosho, Kearney, Staley and Oak Park have regularly finished in the top 3 in some fashion.

Since 2008:
Neosho (3) championships, (2) 2nd place finishes
Kearney (2) championships, (1) 2nd place finish, (4) 3rd place finishes
Staley (2) 2nd place finishes, (1) 3rd place finish, (1) 4th place finish
Oak Park (1) championship, (2) 2nd place finishes, (3) 3rd places finishes

In Class 2, can Oak Grove continue their dominance.  Since 2010, that school has three championships and two state runner up finishes under their belt.  After finishing runner-up to Blair Oaks in the 2014 Class 1 team championships, Whitfield looks to bring home the championship against after winning back-to-back state titles in 2012 and 2011.

The finals will get started on Saturday around 4 p.m. to cap off what promises to be another exciting weekend.

Times and schedules

There is a new policy that has been put in place regarding banners and signs.  Based on the history of issues with banners at
the MSHSAA State Wrestling Championships and disrespect to the arena staff, the MSHSAA Wrestling Advisory Committee supports the MSHSAA and Mizzou Arena staff in prohibiting the hanging of banners at the MSHSAA State Wrestling Championships beginning at the 2015 MSHSAA State Championships.

MSHSAA wrestling parking information for this weekend.

MSHSAA wrestling parking information for this weekend.