Reese Compton was anything but confident was she stepped into wrestling as a freshman last season.
Compton, now a sophomore at Holt High School expected to lose every time she went into a match.
“Last year, I just really had no confidence in myself,” Compton said.
That time of self-doubt is now ancient history for Compton. On Feb. 7, a stronger and more confident Compton strong-armed her way to a championship in the 103-pound class of the Missouri District 2 championship at Holt High School.
Compton’s win along with championships from freshman Maria Slaughter , sophomore Esther Han , and senior Madison Hunke  helped propel the Indians to the district championship.
Holt scored 159.5 points to clip St. Charles High [140.5]. Third place went to McCluer North [138.5]. Francis Howell [122.5] and Washington High  rounded out the top five teams in the tournament.
“All of the bonus points that we got from advancement and getting into the final were huge,” Holt coach Andrew Hammond said. “At 125, Maria was our only head to head to match up with St. Charles. They were 1-1 against each other during the year, so the rubber match swung our way.”
In the 103-pound match, Compton moved to 25-3 on the season as she pinned Francis Howell Central’s Sophia Miller to give the Indians a dominant start to the day.
“That match was frustrating [early] and then towards the end and I had to manage my anger a lot and then turn it into wrestling moves,” Compton said. “Then I hit my one move where you bend the legs and then hook them … and then I pinned her.”
Hammond said that the biggest improvement in Compton from last year to this year has come from her increased confidence.
“She now believes that she can wrestle with some of these top-end girls and then she has another year of wrestling underneath her belt,” Hammond said. “Last year was her first year of wrestling, and she really enjoyed it. Now we’re building off of that.”
Compton also credits Indians assistant coach Chris Kyle with helping boost her confidence and develop physically as a wrestler.
This season, she has gone into matches with a definite plan of attack.
“I’m not scared before my matches anymore,” Compton said. “I think of what I’m going to do and what my goal is for the match and what I can do and how I’m going to win,” Compton said.
Thanks in part to Compton’s turnaround from her freshman year, the Indians are very optimistic that a top-five finish is possible for them at the state tournament in Columbia, Missouri on Feb. 20-22. Compton made it to state last season but did not medal.
“We’re gonna have to wrestle [really] well, because a lot of these teams have some top-notch girls in heir programs,” Hammond said.
Seven of Holt High’s 12 wrestlers qualified for the state tournament.