James Cole gave it the ol’ college try and nearly wrestled last weekend for a state title.
The Barnsdall High School senior warrior came oh, so close to battling for supremacy in the 160-pound division in the Class 3A championships, held at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds.
But, after falling in the semifinals — by a single tiebreaker point — Cole battled back to bring home the third-place medal.
He muscled past Sperry’s Bryce Carter, 3-2, in the consolation final to earn his hardware.
Cole opened up his weekend at the fairground arena — known as the Big House — by romping past Vinita’s Zach Wattenbarger, 5-1.
In the semifinal, he took Marlow’s Tyler Lavey to the tiebreaker. Lavey won, 2-1.
Cole bounced back to outlast Caleb Meeker (Jay), 3-2, in the consolation semifinal.
That set up his showdown against Carter.
Each grappler put up a ferocious fight — but Cole proved to be just a little fiercer.
He wrapped up his season record at 32-6.
Cole also amassed an amazing career record in regular season competition. From his seventh-grade year through his senior campaign he never lost in dual meet competition.
Now it’s on to baseball for the three-sport standout and straight-A student.
Cole said during a recent E-E interview his goal was to play baseball at Northeastern State and study to be a teacher and a coach.