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Warrensburg-Latham heavyweight Adam Maxwell still alive at state wrestling tournament
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Warrensburg-Latham heavyweight Adam Maxwell still alive at state wrestling tournament


CHAMPAIGN — Warrensburg-Latham wrestler Adam Maxwell needed a little guidance. 

The junior was tied 13-13 in his second 285-pound wrestlebacks match of the day against Gabe Craig of Benton with a minute left in the match on Friday at the Class 1A state tournament. 

Maxwell was on top of Craig and turned his head around to see what Brian Lee, the Cardinals' wrestling coach, wanted him to do. 

"Ride it out," was the answer. 

"I was definitely looking for some guidance," Maxwell said. "We have a new coach this year and Coach Lee he knows what he is talking about. You have to look to him in those situations. 

"He told me to ride it out and then he tried to tell me to do a move but I kind of ignored that call and did my own tilt and got three points so I'm OK with it. I hope he's OK with it, too."

Maxwell won 16-15, advancing to Saturday's Class 1A wrestleback quarterfinals. This is Maxwell's second trip to state, but this year's experience is different. 

"This year offense is the key for me. Last year, I was a very defensive person and I just wanted to wait until I was on top," Maxwell said. "I was OK with just winning by a point but that's not going to work this year. You have to be active, as you saw in the match, and you have to try new things."

Maxwell's draw matched him against No. 1-seeded Logan Lee from Orion in the fist round and he was pinned by Lee at 4:51. 

"Logan is a tough competitor and he's going to D-1 at Iowa to be a tight end. He's not as a big as some of these guys but he is a heck of a competitor and so talented," Maxwell said. 

That first round loss means some long days in the wrestlebacks for Maxwell, but he's loving the experience. 

"I am tired but it is an amazing feeling, coming from last year and not winning anything. I was just excited to be here last year but this year I'm on the mission and I want to knock off some of the top guys," he said. 

Lee, who was previously a long-time coach for Litchfield, sees Maxwell (39-10) as a key component of turning Warrensburg wrestling around. The Cardinals were able to bring a full roster to regionals this year, which was an important accomplishment. 

"We are trying to bring in a new culture where people appreciate wrestling a little bit more at Warrensburg-Latham. It's a big culture change," Lee said. "Adam has improved by leaps and bounds this year. He works hard but still has a lot to learn. He's pretty athletic for a 260-pound kid and he's a super great, polite kid."

Lee has focused on improving Maxwell's wrestling technique while on his feet. 

"Adam's biggest improvement has been his wrestling on his feet and recently he's been a lot better of getting off of the bottom. He still needs some work on that top position but it shows in those last 15 seconds of his last match that he can ride when he really needs to," he said. 

Midway through his match with Craig, Maxwell's knee was twisted and the jolt of pain caused referees pause the match while a trainer had a look. That sort of setback might have shaken an inexperienced wrestler, but Maxwell shook it off. 

"You've got to think in your head that there's only a little bit left in the match," he said. "The pain is temporary and winning the match is more important than anything."


Contact Matthew Flaten at (217) 421-6968. Follow him on Twitter: @MattFlaten


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