Wrestling season officially begins for the Pawhuska Huskies on Thursday, Dec. 5, with high school and junior high home duals against the Cleveland Tigers.

A junior high match with Cleveland is set to start at 6 p.m. with the Pawhuska High School dual getting underway around 7:30 p.m. Both bouts will be held at Oren Terrill Field House.

PHS and Pawhuska Junior High squads will be returning to the local mats the following Tuesday, Dec. 10, for back-to-back matches with the visiting Blackwell Maroons.

On Dec. 13-14, the high school squad heads to Bristow for the Chuck West Invitational Tournament. The 2013 portion of the Huskie mat season wraps up Dec. 20-21 when the PHS grapplers take part in the Kingfisher Tournament.

Pawhuska returns a pair of state qualifiers from last season in Taylor Priest and Zalin Edwards. The two seniors formed the central core of a squad that was plagued by illness and injuries throughout the 2012-13 campaign. An outstanding group of freshmen will provide a major boost for this year’s varsity squad.

Wade Rogers is in his third season as PHS head wrestling coach. He said the December lineup of the Huskies will again be effected by football-related injuries and state weight-loss restrictions.

"Most of our guys will be wrestling themselves into condition in the early part of our season," said Rogers. "We try to have everybody ready to go for the main part of our schedule."

A PHS home dual is slated Jan. 7 against Newkirk. Road matches are set at Pawnee on Jan. 14 and Jan. 28 at Perry.

After their season-opening Cleveland match next week, PJHS grapplers are to participate in the Cushing Junior High Wrestling Tournament on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6-7.

Patrick McCarty has taken over as coach of the junior high mat program.