Pawhuska wrestlers take Homecoming prize, defeating tough Newkirk team

Robert Smith
Shown here are, from left, Queen Escort Andrez Ramirez; Wrestling Homecoming Queen Kaitlyn Adkins; and Crowning Captain Tristian McCartney. Photo courtesy of Sharon Holloway, Pawhuska High School

Pawhuska High School wrestlers scored a satisfying 37-33 win last Thursday over previously No. 10 ranked Newkirk. The victory came on Pawhuska’s Wrestling Homecoming and reflected the hopes that Coach Austin Legg has for his 2019-20 team.

The Huskies were coming off a 42-30 home victory over Inola, a win that Legg said sophomore heavyweight Dylan Doyal helped to make possible.

“Dylan sealed the deal for us,” Legg said. “He got a fall that basically won the dual for us.”

Legg said Doyal, who wrestles at 285 pounds, brings stamina and enthusiasm to his performances.

“He can wrestle for 15 minutes and keep going,” Legg said of Doyal.

Pawhuska, which is 3A for wrestling, got off to a bit of a tough start for the 2019-20 season, narrowly losing a dual on the road to a highly regarded Blackwell team. The score was 42-39 for Blackwell.

“I thought it was a pretty tough dual,” Legg said, reflecting that his team looked pretty good for only having had two weeks of practice at that point.

The Huskies then finished fifth in a tournament at Bristow, winning two and losing two. Pawhuska lost to Perkins-Tryon, 51-24, and to 5A Pryor, 64-9. PHS defeated Morris by a count of 57-24, and Mangum by a count of 57-23; and PHS was on the winning end of a forfeit at the Bristow tournament, as well.

Legg wasn’t that pleased with the outcome at Bristow, feeling like Pawhuska should have wrestled well enough to make the top three, but he was pleased with the win over Inola that Doyal’s efforts helped make possible.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us tonight,” he said, estimating beforehand that the dual with Newkirk would likely be tough. “It’s going to be a very good challenge. It could go either way tonight.”

Well, it went Pawhuska’s way and the Huskies have stayed busy ever since. On Monday evening of this week, they were slated to be on the road at Metro Christian.

The 2019-20 Huskies varsity wrestling team is captained by junior Lane Crosby, at 106 pounds, who was a state qualifier a year ago; senior R.J. McCann, at 152 pounds; and Bryce Drummond, at 195 pounds, who was a state qualifier last season.

Pawhuska doesn’t have the kind of dominant wrestler that it had in 2018-19 in Price Perrier, but Legg noted that Doyal was 6-1 in his first seven contests and was “becoming pretty well known in the heavyweight area.”

“The next two months are just nothing but going,” Legg said, explaining that the Huskies will be almost constantly busy. That will mean young wrestlers stepping up to make a competitive dent in the very competitive ranks of Oklahoma 3A wrestling.

“We plan to make a lot of noise as far as competing,” Legg said as he looked forward. He also said he intends for this team to be as academically competitive as the 2018-19 group, which was just a half a grade point from an academic state title.