SPORTS

Youngwolfe, Perrier claim Inola mat titles

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
Youngwolfe, Perrier claim Inola mat titles

Pawhuska’s Levi Youngwolfe and Price Perrier brought home wrestling titles last weekend as the Huskies’ squad opened its busy 2016 mat schedule at the Inola High School Tournament.

Perrier, a freshman, won the tourney’s 120-pound championship and Youngwolfe took the crown at 126 pounds. Youngwolfe is a two-time state qualifier for the Huskies who finished third in last year’s Class 3A Tournament.

Another PHS freshman, Ryan Parks, placed third in Inola’s 106-pound division. The Huskies had a pair of fifth-place winners in senior 145-pounder Taylor Walker and sophomore Kienan Cheves at 220. Finishing sixth for the locals were 152-pound sophomore Dalton Lough and junior heavyweight John Bighorse.

“They wrestled pretty well, overall,” said Pawhuska head coach Brian Edwards. “We went to Inola (instead of the Cushing Tournament, which is listed on the PHS schedule) because we thought it would give us better matchups, as a team.”

The coach said all the local entries had competitive matches in the tourney. PHS junior Caleb Bruce, who had been sidelined since sustaining an October a football injury, made his first mat appearance of the season at 160 pounds, Edwards said.

“What’s most important for us now is to get everybody some experience that will help them later down the line when there’s more on the line,” Edwards said. “We have 1 1/2 months to Regionals, but there’s less than two weeks until our District Duals (set for Jan. 21 in Pawnee) and some of our guys could use a boost in their confidence.”

Edwards said the Huskies were without two top juniors, 115-pound Daniel Nightengale (who was sick) and Brycen Swan, a 132-pounder who won his first five matches of the season before aggravating a back injury right before the holiday break. Swan is hoping to return to action in time for a Jan. 19 dual at Sperry.

PHS won its last two duals in 2015 (defeating Cleveland and Barnsdall) after losing at Mannford in the season opener. The Huskies were to host Okmulgee for a Tuesday dual that the Bulldogs had agreed to reschedule for Pawhuska. On Thursday, the Pawhuska junior high and high school squads are to face Class 6A Bartlesville, with the action set to begin at 6 p.m. in Bruin Field House.

Looking ahead to Tuesday’s dual at Sperry, the Pirates are No. 9 in the latest Class 3A state dual rankings, which added Pawhuska at No. 15. The Huskies also are 3A’s 15th-ranked tournament team, while Sperry is No. 11. (Interesting to note is the fact that Barnsdall’s Panthers are No. 8 in the 3A tourney rankings and 11th on the 3A dual list — even though they lost a mid-December dual match against the visiting PHS squad.)

On Friday and Saturday, Jan. 22-23, Pawhuska’s field house will be the site for the 20th-annual Carman Classic wrestling tournament. The following Thursday night, Jan. 28, the Huskies’ home dual with Tonkawa will be part of Pawhuska’s 2016 Wrestling Homecoming.