Huskie wrestler Youngwolfe gets third at state mat tourney

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

OKLAHOMA CITY — Pawhuska Huskie wrestler Levi Youngwolfe capped an injury-plagued season by placing third in his weight class last weekend in the Oklahoma Class 3A High School Championships at State Fair Arena.

Youngwolfe, a 120-pound sophomore, completed his strong two-day performance with a 6-1 victory over Madill senior Tyler Ramirez in Saturday’s consolation finals match. Earlier that day, Youngwolfe had pinned Chandler junior Tyce Smith to earn a chance at the third-place medal.

Pawhuska head coach Brian Edwards praised the effort of Youngwolfe, who qualified for his second consecutive state tourney after overcoming shoulder and hip injuries that had sideline him for over a month. Edwards noted that Youngwolfe — who wound up 26-5 on the season — very nearly earned a shot at the 120-pound championship.

Youngwolfe’s only loss came in Friday night’s championship semifinals when he lost an 8-7 decision to top-seeded Zach Atencio of Plainview.

“Levi was a point ahead with 2o seconds left,” said Edwards. “We had a game plan (against Atencio), but it just didn’t quite work out.”

A late takedown put Atencio — instead of Youngwolfe — into the finals.

“It was a big let-down for Levi,” Edwards said. “I think he showed a lot by winning those last two matches.”

Also competing in the championships for the Huskies was 132-pound sophomore Brycen Swan, who finished an outstanding 33-10 season by going 1-2 at the state tourney.

Pawhuska wound up 19th in the team standings, with 16 1/2 points. The Plainview Indians racked up 109 1/2 points to win the 3A title over the Perry Maroons (87 points), with Oklahoma City’s Heritage Hall taking third (85). Barnsdall compiled 17 points to finish 17th in the scoring.

In 3A’s 120-pound final, Atencio (a 2014 state champion) lost a 13-0 decision to to undefeated sophomore Kaden Gfeller of Oklahoma City’s Heritage Hall.

Two other individual crowns went to Heritage Hall (113 and 152) and two were taken by both Kingfisher (106, 126) and Plainview (132, 138). Other champions came from Tonkawa (285), Perry (220), Davis (195), Blackwell (182), Okmulgee (170), Chandler (160) and Geary-Watonga (145).

Four members of the Barnsdall squad qualified for this year’s tournament. Colten Allen and Baylee Perigo both earned fourth-place medals as the Panthers, who are coached by Shawn Wilson. (As a high school wrestler for the Pawhuska Huskies, Wilson captured back-to-back 123-pound state championships in 1974-75.) Barnsdall qualified two other wrestlers to the state tourney, 160-pound senior Lane White (29-11) and freshman James Cole (20-8) at 152 pounds.

In his first-round match, Youngwolfe won by technical fall (16-0) over Ethan Allen, a sophomore from Geary-Watonga.