By Kenton Brooks
Phoenix Sports Writer
As far as Thursday’s dual is concerned, Muskogee’s best wrestlers are at the middle weights.
The Roughers won three bouts at 145, 152 and 160 pounds, but it was not nearly enough to overcome Broken Arrow as the Tigers took a 37-18 victory at Ron D. Milam Memorial Gym.
Dawaylon Barnes, Jacobe Smith and J.T. Andrews were victorious — in the last three bouts of the night — for the Roughers in the dual season opener.
Muskogee coach Bobby Jefferson didn’t hide his disappointment.
“This loss bothers me as much as any loss we’ve had, but I know our kids will respond to this,” he said.
But he was encouraged by the finish.
“You’re talking about two All-Americans (Barnes and Smith), a state placer (Smith) and state qualifier (Andrews),” Jefferson said. “Those three look forward to big matches.”
Barnes defeated Tanner Bailey 9-5, while Smith took a 5-3 decision against Bailey’s brother Paden and Andrews won 3-1 against Josh Foshee in the last bout of the night.
Tanner Bailey is a two-time state placer and an All-American, while Paden Bailey is an All-American runner-up.
Barnes got a takedown for two points and a nearfall for three in the second period of his match.
“I got in two double leg takedowns last week and was cautious about finishing them,” he said. “This time, I was going to wrestle my style and not worry about what the other guy does. When I saw him take an injury timeout, I knew I had him.”
Smith had two takedowns and an escape to win his bout.
“He beat me the last time we wrestled and I went into this believing in taking my shots,” he said. “He likes to wait for me to take a bad shot. I wanted to be more aggressive.”
Andrews kept up his aggressive style in recording a takedown and an escape for the win.
“He was a tough kid and I tried to outwork him,” he said.
Muskogee won two other bouts. Nigel Harris took a 4-0 decision against Christian Vaverka at 220 and Elijah Petty pinned Terran English at 33.6 seconds of first period of their heavyweight bout.
Broken Arrow, the three-time tournament state champion, won six straight matches from 106 to 138 pounds. Two of those were by tech falls in which the wrestler has an advantage by 15 points or more.
Pup Simmons, a state champion at 120, won 19-3 against Chase Soper and Zack Edwards topped Micah Foster 16-0 at 132.
Muskogee returns to the mat at 7 p.m. on Dec. 4 at Claremore. The Roughers’ next home match is Dec. 11 against Owasso.