Last month, Wentzville Holt senior wrestler Colby Smith finished off his four-year career with the Indians as arguably one of the best wrestlers in program history.
Smith, who started the season wrestling in the 132-pound division, finished off his senior year in grand style, by defeating Francis Howell Central’s Devin Schwartzkopf to capture the 132-pound Missouri Class 4 championship on Feb. 20 at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
It was the third state championship in four years for Smith, who is just the second wrestler in Wentzville district history to finish as a three-time state champion.
“I have all three medals hanging up in my car,” Smith said. “Just looking at all three of those medals in my car, it just means so much. All the work I’ve put into the sport since I was 4 years old, it just really means a lot to me.”
Seeing the Indians as a dominant performer in the squared circle is something that has become a regular sight for Holt coach Jason Moore; and Smith is a key contributor to that success, helping the Indians finish fourth in the Class 4 meet last month.
“He has a lot of things going for him,” Moore said of Smith. “First, and probably most important, is that he hates to lose. Everybody likes to win and Colby, he does to a certain extent but it’s more the fact he hates losing and that drives him to succeed.”
Success on the mat for Smith at Holt started right out of the box with a state title as a freshman at the 120-pound class, which he followed as a sophomore with a third-place finish at state.
As a junior last winter, Smith rolled through an undefeated season and won state at 126 pounds. He finished the year ranked No. 1 in the state by Rankwrestlers.com.
This winter Smith was virtually unbeatable on the mat, as he rolled to a dominating 51-2 record with 35 pins.
At the state meet, he started his run to the title by defeating Joe Schmidt of CBC by a fall in a first round match on Feb. 18.
In the morning quarterfinal round on Feb. 19, Smith defeated Seth Otis of Staley by a fall. Next, was a tough semifinal match against Eureka standout Kyran Hagan. Smith outlasted Hagan by a 1-0 decision to move on to the championship match.
Smith, who is headed to Grand Canyon University to wrestle this fall, saved his best work for last – beating Schwartzkopf by decision to take home his third state title and end his Holt career in perfect fashion.
“In the finals I had Devin Schwartzkopf, who is a freshman and kind of reminds me a lot of me as a freshman,” Smith said. “He has a lot of potential. He will be doing well for the next three years.”
Finishing with a record of 193-11, which broke Holt 2013 graduate Clayton Ream’s record, Smith is proud of what he was able to accomplish with the Indians and is looking forward to his future at Grand Canyon this fall.
“The whole experience is awesome. I mean I wouldn’t have asked for a better team honestly,” Smith said. “We thought we had a shot at the title this year and we came up a little short but my senior year, my graduation class we have been like best friends since like sixth grade or even younger.”
Moore believes that Smith’s career success and tireless work ethic will have a positive impact on the Holt program for years to come.
“A kid like Colby graduating – and we had a very strong senior class this year – he has left his mark and left a good impression on the younger athletes,” Moore said. “They saw how hard he worked and what he was willing to do in order to make sure he won. Hopefully, they continue that.”