Phoenix Staff Reports
In one of the strongest tournament fields they have faced all season, the Muskogee Roughers wrestling team finished in fifth place at the Jay Hancock Memorial in Yukon on Saturday.
The Roughers, ranked No. 3 in tournaments and duals by Okrankings.com, totaled 149 points with Collinsville taking home the team title with 292 points. Finishing in 2-4 were Allen (Texas) with 270.5, Edmond North at 225.5 and Perry at 199.
“The kids wrestled really hard and battled their tails off,” said associate head coach Dan Jefferson. “We’re coming to the end of a 3-4 week grind. We’ve made tremendous strides in getting ready for the postseason. This next week really caps it off.”
The Roughers had two wrestlers finish second in their respective weight classes with Dawaylon Barnes falling to A.J. Hinkle of Allen 4-3 at 145 pounds while Jacobe Smith lost by major decision to Allen’s Bo Nickal 9-1 at 160.
“I thought we were a little outmatched at 160,” Jefferson said. “That kid is gigantic but that’s just kinda how it goes. We’re a small 160-pounder and he’s a gigantic 160-pounder.”
In the consolation finals, Muskogee’s J.T. Andrews lost a 2-0 to Edmond North’s Derek White and Jefferson knows that the match was a close as the score indicated.
“The take-down came in the last 10 seconds,” Jefferson said. “We took a shot, he took a shot, we took a shot. The Edmond kid scored the winner with 5 seconds left on the clock.”
In the fifth-and sixth-place matches, Chase Soper dropped a 3-2 decision to Putnam City’s Josh Laine at 120, Xavier Taylor grabbed an 8-3 win over PC North’s Greg Hendrix at 126, Perry’s Garret Beier won by fall over Haden Kolmer in 1:32 at 182 and Cori Andrews decisioned Putnam City’s Jacob Radford 4-3.
The Roughers return to the mat on Tuesday with a win at home against Sand Springs giving them a district dual title and a spot at dual state. JV matches precede the 7 p.m. starting time. Sand Springs brings a No. 6 ranking- into the dual.