The Lafayette Lancers head into the Class 4 District 1 tournament with two 100-win wrestlers and one knocking on the door of that milestone.

The Lancers compete Saturday, Feb. 18 at Jackson. Teams competing are CBC, Eureka, Fox, Jackson, Kirkwood, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Mehlville, Northwest, Oakville, Parkway South, Poplar Bluff, Seckman and St. Louis University High.

The top four finishers in each weight class will qualify the state meet. The 93rd boys wrestling championships will be held Feb. 22-25 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.

“Districts are always tough in our division,” Lafayette coach Joe Wier said. “Our district has some the best wrestlers in the St. Louis area and southeastern Missouri.”

The Lancers, Wier said, believe between 6 to 10 grapplers can go to the state meet.

“Lost of crazy stuff happens at districts so we have to keep calm and battle for each moment,” Wier said. “Nothing is given, everything is earned.”

Wier believes he has some potential state champions on his squad.

“We have a couple guys that have a shot.  The effort and mentality has to come together to make it happen,” Wier said. “There are zero gifts in this sport this time of year.  We have a few guys capable of winning titles but they have to be ready to fight the battles and win the war for the 30 hour state tournament. This year the tournament starts Friday (Feb. 24) at 6 p.m. and finishes at 9 p.m. Saturday. Less than 30 hours of battle to be a champion.”

Earlier this season, juniors Dylan Roth and Andrew Wier reached their 100th career victory for the Lancers. Before them, only 42 matmen at Lafayette reached the coveted win total. Senior Gavin Shoulders, who has been hurt but is coming back to compete at the district, has 96 career victories."

They all started wrestling together 10 years ago in Bonhomme. That’s a youth wrestling kids to teach youngsters the basics of the sport.

“A good foundation is everything in this sport,” Wier said. “A wrestler with athleticism an drive can catch someone who has wrestled for many quality years but Bonhomme is our primary feeder team and over half of our team each season is made up of former Bonhomme Badgers.  Bonhomme just won the prestigious Missouri Nationals Tournament in Lebanon and 20 of those kids will be future Lancer stars.  The pipeline from Bonhomme to Lafayette is flowing like a river and we recognize that our high school success like being undefeated this year 10-0 and conference champs comes directly from the training of Bonhomme.”

Getting to 100 wins is impressive, Wier said. To reach it as a junior shows talent and skill.

“One hundred wins really validates a wrestler as a dominant performer,” Wier said. “The stars have to align with health, weather, training and discipline for a wrestler to accomplish this goal. As a junior, this accomplishment means that a wrestler dominated on the varsity level as a freshman in high school,” Wier said. “Both Dylan and Andrew were 14 years old and were beating 18-year-old men  consistently as freshmen at Lafayette.”

Roth, who wrestles at 126 pounds, reached 100 first this season. He achieved it at the Fred Ross Invitational that Lafayette hosts. He defeated Lebanon’s Davis Joiner in overtime.

“Dylan's win was classic.  He beat a kid ranked second in the state of Missouri in overtime,” Wier said. “The win was typical of the relentless mentality of Dylan Roth.  He was losing in the match and came back to wear his Lebanon opponent down and get the takedown in sudden death overtime.  It was epic.”

Roth remembered the moment.

“I got the takedown, winning the match,” Roth said. “I saw the 100 wins sign and it made the moment feel surreal.” 

Andrew Wier reached his 100th win the week after won a title at the Fred Ross Invitational when he beat defending state champion Cole Ruble, of Seckman. 

He picked up his 100th win while in Illinois in Lafayette’s first ever dual meet against Edwardsville.

 "Andrew hit a nice arm throw to soar his opponent to his back in the first period for the pin,” Joe Wier said. “It was a much needed boost for the team as we won the meet 40-31 over the Tigers.”

Andrew had lost track of his win total. He was caught off guard when he reached No. 100.  

“I knew it was coming up but I didn't overthink it because I have wrestled many matches,” Andrew Wier said. “I was definitely surprised when they pulled out the poster. It wasn't a career goal but the moment was cool.”

Roth was happy with his accomplishment. 

“I was excited to reach 100 wins but it was not a goal or anything I had thought about until it happened, which made the moment even better,” Roth said. “It was not a career goal for me but it was cool to think about and how far I have come.” 

As a freshmen. Roth finished second at districts and third at sectionals and placed sixth at state at 106 pounds. Last year, he wound up second at districts  and placed fifth at state at 113 pounds.

“Dylan is a complete wrestler. He does not have a weak position,” Wier said. “He is a captain of our team an leads daily by example.  He does not get outworked.  He always competes with 100 percent effort.  He has had a strong season in a very tough weight class.”

Andrew Wier was fourth at districts as freshman year and did not qualify for the state meet. Last year, he won his at 182 pounds. However, he got upset at state and did not place.  

“He looks strong at 190 as he put a lot of time in the off-season in the weight room,” Joe Wier said. “Andrew wrestles in a weight were the guys look like Greek gods and he is a shorter stockier kid.  Most kids he wrestle are 6 inches taller but Andrew likes to chop wood and he knocks them down to size most of the time by the end of the match. He has very deceiving hips so he is dangerous from all positions as he proved last year going 5-1 and placing second in the country at sophomore nationals in Virginia Beach last March.”

Shoulders injured his leg. He has been out for a couple weeks. 

“We have been creative to get him ready and he is feeling strong again just in time for the big stuff,” Joe Wier said. “He also did some great low impact training which allowed him to stay in great shape and ready.  He will do well.”

Roth is ready to see what the Lancers can accomplish in the district and at state.

“We always are the underdogs which makes every moment that much better,” Roth said. “We have a lot of guys that have been hungry all season and are ready to really show it at districts and state so that is very cool to see. The coaching staff at Lafayette is like no other. They care more about wresting than anything I have ever seen. It is a amazing environment to be around.”