Huskies claim Classic team title with three individual champions

Mike ErwinJ-C Sports Writer
Huskies claim Classic team title with three individual champions

Pawhuska High School wrestlers won three individual titles and the team championship Saturday night as they eclipsed the field at the 20th-annual Carman Classic tournament.

PHS senior Mathew Taft took the Classic crown at 170 pounds and junior Levi Youngwolfe was the tourney’s 126-pound champion. Another of Pawhuska’s juniors, Brycen Swan, claimed his second straight Carman title in the 132-pound classification.

Three Huskies — freshman 120-pounder Price Perrier, sophomore Kienan Cheves at 220 and senior heavyweight John BigHorse —finished as runners-up in their championship bouts. PHS also had three third-place finishers at the high-school level — Daniel Nightengale (113), Taylor Walker (145) and Caleb Bruce (160) — and three fourth-placers (Ryan Parks at 106, Dalton Lough at 152 and Warren Graves at 170).

Members of coach Brian Edwards’ Huskies squad compiled 195 points during the two-day event at Oren Terrill Field House. Second place in the team standings was Tonkawa, with 171 points, and Checotah (125 points) finished third.

Pawhuska eighth-grader Cade McNeil won the 113-pound championship in the tournament’s Junior High division. McNeil — who was making his first mat appearance of the season after opting to play basketball for the junior Huskies — decisioned a Checotah finalist, 4-1.

Taft capped an epic two-day performance by winning the title with a fall (in 4 minutes, 31 seconds) against a Vinita finalist. He also had a pin in his tourney opener before griding out a 17-4 decision in the semifinals.

The road Swan took to a second title was completed when he pinned his Tonkawa foe in 1:14 of the finals. The 132-pounder of the Huskies won his semifinal match by fall in the late second period. In his first Classic outing, Swan wrapped up a technical fall, 18-3, midway through the second period.

Youngwolfe’s victory in the finals came via a rambunctious 37-second pin of a Checotah foe. His earlier wins were also by fall, in the first and second periods. Although it was his first Classic title, Youngwolfe had missed last year’s local tourney due to injury. As a freshman, he placed a close second to a two-time state champion from Tonkawa.

Perrier had a comparable freshman experience at this year’s event, as he lost his finals match by decision to a highly-regarded Blackwell opponent. He reached the championship via two straight first-period falls.

Before getting caught in the closing seconds of a close title bout, Cheves had dispatched his early foes with pins in 2:15 and 49 seconds. Cheves’ loss in the finals was to a 2015 state placer from Blackwell whom he had pinned two days earlier in the district duals’ event.

Bighorse lost an overtime heartbreaker for the championship after breaking some hearts and a couple of heads getting there. After getting a fall in less than a minute of his opening bout, the Huskie heavyweight scored twice in the last 30 seconds to pull out a 4-3 win in the semifinals. Against a formidable Hulbert foe in the final, BigHorse recorded a match-tying takedown with 25 seconds remaining in regulation before losing, 5-4, in sudden death.

PHS junior Nightengale won by fall in 53 seconds of the 113-pound third-place bout. Walker, a senior, was likewise in control for his third at 145. Bruce continued his return to form by getting third by 7-4 decision at 160.

Hulbert 138-pounder Jon McGowan (a repeat Carman champ) and Vinita’s Alex Kaufmann (182) were chosen as outstanding wrestlers for the tourney’s senior-high division. Outstanding Wrestler honors for the junior-high division went to Vian’s River Simon (a 162-pounder) for the upper classifications and 89-pound Jacob Adams of Vian in the lower weights.

Wrestlers from more than 30 area schools participated in this year’s event. Tonkawa, with 170 1/2 points, placed second in the high school team standings and Checotah (125 points) came in third. Junior-high team honors went to Vian, which racked up 220 points, while Vinita (159) placed second and Checotah, third. Tristen McCartney of Pawhuska placed in the 150-pound class of the junior division.

The local tourney capped a busy week for the PHS team. On Tuesday, the Huskies dropped a 45-23 decision in a dual at Sperry. Pawhuska’s winners included 126-pound Perrier (by 16-5 major decision), Youngwolfe (an 8-7 winner in overtime at 132 pounds) and Swan, who won by 11-1 major decision at 138. Bruce earned a second-period fall in the 160-pound bout and heavyweight Bighorse took a 2-1 decision.

Pawhuska went to Pawnee for the Class 3A District 5 duals event Thursday. After losing their opener to Blackwell, the Huskies notched team victories over the host Bears as well as Berryhill, Morrison and Newkirk. Five match winners for Pawhuska included Perrier, Youngwolfe, Swan and Cheves.

The Huskies will celebrate wrestling homecoming at the PHS field house Thursday night as part of their dual with Tonkawa.


106 — Keeton Ornder of Vinita pinned Floyd Craighead of Vian. Pawhuska’s Ryan Parks finished fourth.

113 — Cade Shropshire of Checotah pinned Mikey Johnson of Tulsa Webster. Daniel Nightengale placed third with fall :53 over Zach Gray of Vian.

120 — Stetson Baker of Blackwell dec., 11-4, Price Perrier, Pawhuska.

126 — Levi Youngwolfe, Pawhuska, pinned Seth McKinney of Checotah, :37.

132 — Brycen Swan, Pawhuska, pinned Camrin Pflugler of Tonkawa, 1:14.

138 — Jon McGowan of Hulbert dec., 5-4 (ot), Graylen Fletcher, Vian.

145 — Tad Linton, Tonkawa, dec. Tanner Chronister of Checotah. 3rd place — Taylor Walker of Pawhuska dec., 6-3, Derrick McAnelly of Tulsa Webster.

152 — Chase Pflugler of Tonkawa pinned Luke Palmer, Vian. Dalton Lough, Pawhuska, was fourth.

160 — Koby Mora of Tonkawa def. Mike Burns of Sand Springs. Caleb Bruce, Pawhuska, dec., 7-4, Warren Graves, Pawhuska.

170 — Mathew Taft of Pawhuska pinned Bailey Dobbs of Vinita, 4:31.

182 — Alex Kaufman of Vinita def. John Floyd, Vinita.

195 — Corbin McLaughlin of Skiatook def. Noah Wilson, Tahlequah Sequoyah.

220 — Rudy Reilly of Blackwell by fall over Kienan Cheves of Pawhuska, 5:18.

285 — Gabe Scott of Hulbert dec., 5-4 in overtime, John Bighorse of Pawhuska. Brodie Miller of Blackwell-Donovan Sowell. Tulsa Webster.

In the Carman Classic’s junior high division: 113—Cade McNeil of Pawhuska dec., 4-1, Logan Shropshire of Checotah; 150—Tristen McCartney of Pawhuska, fourth.


Last Thursday in Pawnee, the Huskies’ squad participated in a 3A-5 District duals tournament. Pawhuska posted dual victories over Berryhill, Morrison, Newkirk and Pawnee after losing their opening matchup versus Blackwell. The first-place finish qualifies the Maroons as one of the eight district winners that will vie for a 3A Dual State title, Feb. 12-13.


The Huskie mat squad kicked off its busy five-day week with a Tuesday night road dual at Sperry versus Class 3A’s No. 7-ranked Pirates.

After trailing by a dozen points early, four PHS wrestlers in a row posted victories to give the Huskies a 14-12 lead in the dual after six matches. Nightengale’s 9-6 decision in the 120-pound bout was followed by a major decision (16-5) by Perrier at 126. In the 132-pound bout, Youngwolfe posted a gutsy sudden victory, 8-7. Brycen Swan (138) won by major decision, 11-1.

Sperry regained the lead with a fall and went ahead by 10 points on a win-via-forfeit before Pawhuska’s Caleb Bruce recorded a pin at 160 pounds which cut the Pirate lead back to four, 24-20. Bruce — who had missed the opening month of the mat season due to a football injury — defeated one of Sperry’s top grapplers, Baily Clampitt.

“I wrestled him quite a few times when we were little and he’d beat me most of the time — so I had that in my mind when I went out there,” Bruce said.

Warren Graves of PHS waged a valiant battle in dropping a single-point decision, 6-5, at 170. The other winner for the Huskies at Sperry was heavyweight John Bighorse, who captured a 2-1 win in the dual’s final bout.


120 — Daniel Nightengale (P) dec., 9-6, Devon Ball … P 3-12.

126 — Price Perrier (P) major dec., 16-5, Noah Ball … P 7-12.

132 — Levi Youngwolfe (P) dec., 8-7, overtime, Louden Akin … P 10-12.

138 — Brycen Swan (P) maj. dec., 11-1, Dalton Hagen … P 14-12.

160 — Caleb Bruce (P) by fall over Baily Clampitt, 3:18 … P 20-24.

285 — John Bighorse (P) dec., 2-1, Derek Bay … P 23-45.