Short-handed wrestling squad takes 4 of 6 Mannford bouts

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

MANNFORD — Pawhuska won four of six contested matches in Thursday’s season-opening high school wrestling dual, but Huskie forfeits in the last four weights handed a 45-25 victory to the host Mannford Pirates.

“We should be able to fill a few more spots against Cleveland,” said PHS head coach Brian Edwards, referring to the Huskies’ Thursday night home opener against the visiting Tigers.

In their 2015-16 debut, the 3A Huskies found themselves a little bit shorthanded on the road against 4A Pirates.

Following a double forfeit at 106 pounds, 113-pound freshman Ryan Parks was first on the mat for the Huskies. Parks — grandson of longtime Pawhuska mat coach Martin Parks — waged a close battle with his Mannford counterpart, Dylan Kelso. A takedown in each period gave Kelso a 6-0 triumph and staked the Pirates to a 3-0 lead in the match. The Huskies trailed, 9-0, after giving up a six-point forfeit because of an academically-ineligible local wrestler.

PHS’s initial points of the varsity mat season were posted by freshman Price Perrier, who notched a decision in the 126-pound bout. Perrier trailed, 2-1, at the end of the first period and the score remained the same after he maintained control of the Pirates’ Kanyon Guffey throughout the second. With the Mannford grappler laboring to hold his lead, Perrier gained a reversal 20 seconds into the final segment and went on to claim a 3-2 victory.

Levi Youngwolfe tied the dual by pinning his 132-pound foe in a minute and eight seconds. Youngwolfe, a two-time state qualifier who placed third (at 120 pounds) in last year’s Class 3A tournament, rapidly built a 13-0 lead before ending the bout by fall. The junior’s triumph evened the score at 9-9.

Pawhuska moved in front of the Pirates when Brycen Swan won a major decision, 15-3, over Mannford’s Tyler Knott in the 138-pound bout. Swan had one first-period takedown and two more in the second. Early in the third period, the Pawhuska junior expanded his advantage — to 13-2 — with a reversal. All three points against Swan were off his own free releases.

PHS senior Taylor Walker won the next matchup in dramatic fashion by engineering a takedown with two seconds remaining to gain a 5-4 edge. Unfortunately, the bout was only for exhibition because Walker weighed slightly over the 145-pound limit.

Dalton Lough gave the Huskies a 19-15 team lead by recording a fall 15 seconds before the first period ended in his 152-pound bout. The PHS sophomore rallied from an early two-point deficit by getting an escape midway through the initial session. He took a 3-2 edge on a takedown with 45 seconds to go and finished off his Pirate foe a half minute later.

Mannford took back the lead on Aaron Wolcott’s triumph in the 160-pound bout. PHS junior Warren Graves stormed out to a five-point lead before falling. The Huskies regained the match advantage at 25-21 when senior Mathew Taft won by forfeit at 170 pounds. Pawhuska gave up the match lead by forfeiting the 182-pound classification.

The Pirates were unchallenged for 18 more points in the three higher-weight classes. Former Bartlesville High coach Ottawa Cochran is in charge of the Mannford mat program.

Pirate wrestlers took all but one of the matches in the junior high dual that preceded the varsity action. Huskie seventh-grader R.J. McCann won by pin at 150 pounds. McCann and Pawhuska teammate Lane Cosby both recorded falls in junior-high exhibition bouts.

Thursday night’s Huskie home dual with Cleveland starts at 6 p.m. at Oren Terrill Field House. The Class 4A Tigers will also be sporting an 0-1 record following a 46-18 loss in their opener against Class 5A Glenpool. This Friday and Saturday, PHS wrestlers are to compete in the Chuck West Invitational tournament at Bristow.