A second consecutive Carman Classic title for Zalin Edwards helped the Pawhuska High School Huskies to a third-place team finish last weekend in the annual PHS wrestling tournament.
Grapplers from more than 25 area schools participated in the Friday and Saturday event at Oren Terrill Field House. Even more participated in tourney’s junior high division, where Pawhuska freshman Jonathan Moody earned a championship and the Huskies finished fourth as a team.
Edwards, a senior, registered a takedown in every period en route to a 9-3 triumph over Bartlesville’s Garrett Kitchel for the 170-pound championship. Another Huskie, Taylor Priest, missed out on his bid for a third straight Classic crown, but the senior battled back to a consolation title with three hard-fought victories in the 126-pound weight class.
Pawhuska freshman standouts Levi Youngwolfe and Brycen Swan captured second-place medals at the high school level. The 113-pound final saw Youngwolfe lose to Anthony Jauregui in a reversal of the 5-2 decision he notched over the Tonkawa senior during a home dual two weeks ago.
Swan was decisioned at 120 pounds by Tonkawa’s defending state champion, Owen Simpson. Later, Simpson was voted as the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler, along with Seth Fritts of Keys, the 160-pound winner.
PHS freshman Daniel Nightengale won by fall in his third-place match for the 106-pound consolation title.
Grant Moore, a senior, finished fourth for the Huskies in the under-285 heavyweight slot.
Edwards got his initial takedown 15 seconds before the end of the opening period and his next, with a mere second in round two, gave him a 4-2 lead. After scoring his third takedown a half minute into the third period, Edwards went on to record a near fall to put his match away.
In the junior high finals, Moody roared out to a 5-0 advantage in his 160-pound title bout against Levi Brown of Checotah. The Huskie ninth-grader was up, 7-4, at the end of the second period, but had his lead cut to a single point in the third. Moody scored a point in the final seconds to take an 8-6 decision.
Runner-up finishes for Pawhuska in the junior high tournament were recorded by 140-pounder Payton McCarty, an eighth-grader, and freshman 150-pounder Caleb Bruce. Claiming third-place medals for the Huskies were 98-pound seventh-grader Price Perrier and freshman 200-pounder John Bighorse.
Tonkawa claimed six of the 14 high school weight classifications and rolled to the 2014 Carman Classic team championship. Other first-place finishers for the Bucs were Brandon Hurst at 132, Jacob Collins (145), Kevin Howard at 152 and heavyweight Bryan Jordan.
No other school had more than one title winner, with individual champions coming from Sand Springs (Justin Ward at 106), Vinita (126-pound Dustin Hayes), Blackwell (Dakota Hagan at 138), Keys (160-pound Fritts), Pawhuska (Edwards at 170), Bartlesville (Grant Schultz at 182), Tulsa Hale (195-pound Dan Mosely) and Hulbert (Dustin McGowan at 220).
Sand Springs edged Skiatook for the junior high team crown. The Outstanding Wrestler awards at the junior-high level went to a pair of Vian Wolverine entries — 120-pounder River Simon and 140-pound Fletcher Whitt.
Pawhuska’s varsity wrestlers were to move into the regular-season home stretch Tuesday night with a road dual against Oklahoma 3A’s No. 1 team, the Perry Maroons. On Saturday, the junior high Huskies are scheduled to compete in the Will Rogers Conference Tournament.
PHS is to observe wrestling homecoming next Tuesday night (Feb. 4) during a match with the Tulsa Hale Rangers. The Huskies are scheduled for a weekend trip to Pawnee and the Will Rogers Conference high school tourney on Feb. 7-8.
Pawhuska will host Oklahoma’s Class 3A East Regional at the field house on Feb. 21-22.
Last Tuesday at Sperry, the Huskies suffered their second straight dual defeat, 47-25. PHS winners against the Pirates were Youngwolfe on a forfeit at 113, Swan by decision in the 120-pound matchup, Priest via a major decision at 126, Bruce on a fall in the 152-pound bout and Edwards by pin at 170.
"They’re a pretty tough team and we just didn’t match up very well against them," Pawhuska coach Wade Rogers said of the Pirates. "It should have been a lot closer, but we had to forfeit one that we could have won and we a couple of our guys got pinned who shouldn’t have."
One week earlier, the Huskies had claimed their fourth consecutive season dual with a 45-26 road triumph over the Pawnee Black Bears.
Earning victories by way of falls at Pawnee were Swan in the 120-pound bout, senior Trevor Easley at 132 pounds, Bruce (at 152) and Edwards (170 pounds). Nightengale carved out a decision at 106 against the Bears and forfeit wins were racked up by Youngwolfe at 113, senior 138-pounder Sean Valencia, Kendall Oller (220) and Grant Moore (under 285).
PHS forfeited at 182 to Marlon Houston, Jr., a senior for the Black Bears who is a defending state runner-up. As a freshman and sophomore, Houston wrestled for Barnsdall, but he moved when his father — former Panthers’ football coach Marlon Houston, Sr. — returned to coach at his high school alma mater. (Houston Sr. was a three-time state heavyweight champ for Pawnee in the 1980s.)
The Jan. 14 dual triumph at Pawnee set up the Pawhuska squad for a District 3A-8 home showdown two nights later against Tonkawa. With a berth in the Class 3A Dual State Tournament at stake, the Huskies battled the Buccaneers down to the wire. In the final bout, a PHS loss by decision snapped a 33-33 tie in favor of the visiting Bucs.
As a result, Tonkawa will represent the district at Dual State — which is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 15, at Cushing.