The renown Cardinal Varsity wrestlers traveled to Coweta to take on the Tigers for the season’s first dual. Over the years, Coweta and Collinsville have met on several occasions. In the past, it has either been the Cards or the Tigers to claim Dual State or Tournament State Champions. Every match is explosive when these two meet; every dual between them is a nail-biter. It is not unusual for a loud, competitive crowd to surround the mats when these teams face each other.
Jared Campbell, the Junior at 106 lbs, was the first to excite the Cardinal Crowd. Campbell took control of the entire match, shutting out his opponent on the scoreboard and eventually pinning him in the third period. Rocky Stevens, the sophomore at 113 lbs, also continued the excitement for Collinsville. Stevens dominated his opponent on the mat, and he forced the technical fall over his Coweta challenger in the second period, with a final score of 16-0.
Freshman Eli Benham, wrestling at 120 lbs, claimed his first varsity victory as he quickly stuck his opponent’s shoulders to the mat and won by pin-fall. Another young, but powerful wrestler was Caleb Tanner at 126 lbs. Tanner pinned his opponent in the first period, making his advanced techniques look easy to the crowd. Collinsville was looking to avenge the Tigers, whom broke their State Championship streak. At this point in the match, the Cardinals had a 23-0 lead over Coweta.
Connor Henson, the junior at 132 lbs, fought a hard match against Coweta. Wrestling against a larger opponent, Henson’s focus turned to staying off his back, allowing minimal points, and using every chance he could take for a comeback. Henson avoided a pin and technical fall, but lost 4-13. The Tigers had a moment of excitement, but it quickly disappeared as Xavear Cullors, 138 lb senior, walked onto the mat. Cullors, a much larger and stronger wrestler after intense offseason training, had no problem conquering his opponent and taking the win. Cullors pin came early in the first period, and added six more team points for Collinsville.
Kolten Allphin had the closest match of the night, as it came down to the final seconds. Allphin, the 152 lb wrestler, is new to Cardinal wrestling and was making his debut. Tied at 4-4, Allphin spun violently on the mat, yanking, pulling, and clutching the other’s leg for one final takedown. Allphin was overpowered in the final seconds of the match and lost 4-6. However, Coweta only earned three points and the Cards still led 29-13.
Senior Tony Connor, 160 lbs, reignited the Collinsville crowd. He had the fastest pin of the night and claimed a victory so quickly that it silenced the Coweta crowd. The Senior wrestler left the match with ease, but Collinsville’s lead was quickly minimized. Logan Seminski had a fierce challenge ahead of him. The wrestler weighing in at 153 lbs, was dueling at 170 lbs. Seminski held strong in the first period, and he kept his cool in the match unlike the Coweta wrestler, who was getting away with lots of elbows and “knuckle-shots” to the face. Seminski only trailed by two points going in to the second period, but was defeated by pin-fall in the second period.
The Tigers quickly gained on the Cardinals after two forfeits due to lack of wrestlers. Zach Morris, freshman at 220 lbs, wrestled a strong match against Coweta. It was a close match tied at 0 going into the third, but Morris lost his footing and was pinned immediately after. Coweta then earned their fourth consecutive six-point match.
It all came down to the heavyweights. Collinsville trailed 35-37, giving Coweta their first lead of the night. The final match between two heavyweight wrestlers would give the final decision. Dylan Dobbs, senior for Collinsville, wrestled the last match of the night. All the Cardinals needed for the win was a minor decision victory in Dobbs’ match, which would give Collinsville the win 38-37. It would be a tough match for the heavy weights, but all one needed for the win was a well-executed shot. Sadly, it was the Coweta competitor who did so. After wrestling all three periods, Coweta won by minor decision 3-0.
Collinsville took the loss against the tigers 35-40. Coach Wes Harding is ready to get his varsity wrestlers on the road to State Finals once again. The Cardinal wrestling team is hungry for victory and looking forward to their next dual with the Tigers. The high school wrestlers take to the Enid Tournament, where they are always known to stand on the podium.