Collinsville Takes Runner-Up in Wrestling State Tournament

Photo credit: Norman Sickle, special to the cardinal connection.

After falling short to Lawton Macarthur at Dual State, Collinsville wrestlers then trained fiercely for two weeks in order to prepare for the State Tournament. In this coming tournament, the Cards not only hoped to claim individual State Champions, but also to take 1st in team points and be overall State Champions for the 7th year in a row. Collinsville had their work cut out for them. Taking nine wrestlers to compete in the tournament, their was a very high chance of success; but Coweta also brought nine wrestlers and Lawton Macarthur brought 11. Collinsville’s nine State competitors were weights 106lbs with Rocky Stephens, 113lbs with Caleb Tanner, 120lbs with Gunner Ham, 126lbs with Connor Henson, 132lbs with Xavear Cullors, open at 138lbs, 145lbs with Nate Keim, 152lbs with Elijah Tanner, and 160lbs with Ryce Haymaker.

In tournament style championships in wrestling, each team brings their own individual wrestlers who placed at regionals to compete in the tournament in their own individual weight brackets. Their brackets in the tournament were double elimination. Each athlete competes for their own State Title, but every win in their bracket awards a certain amount of points to their team. The wrestler’s placing overall will also give a certain amount of points to their team if he/she placed 1st through 4th.

Rocky Stephens (106lbs) won his first match in the quarter finals, but lost in the semi-finals. Stephens was then moved to the consolation bracket where he won another two times and took 3rd place overall.

Caleb Tanner (113lbs) competed in his first high school State Tournament just as Stephens did. Tanner pinned both his opponents, even in the finals and won 1st place over all and won his first high school State Championship title.

Gunner Ham (120lbs) won his first match, but then lost his next two; not placing in the tournament.

Connor Henson (126lbs) lost his first match but then won his next three in the consolation bracket. Henson took 3rd overall.

Xavear Cullors(132lbs) took victory in his first two matches and advanced to the finals. Cullors lossed 4-3 in the finals and took 2nd overall.

Nate Keim(145lbs) defeated both his opponents in the semis and finals. Keim took 1st overall and claimed his 2nd State Championship.

Elijah Tanner (152lbs) performed outstandingly in the Sate Tournament. Tanner was already the reigning, two-time State Champion and was most daunting to his opponents this year on the mat. Tanner defeated both of his opponents by technical fall (winning by 15 points; “mercy-rule”), even in the finals. Elijah Tanner conquered his State bracket and took 1st overall and claimed his 3rd straight State Championship.

Ryce Haymaker (160lbs), Collinsville’s last State competitor, won his 1st match but lost his 2nd and was moved to the consolation bracket. Haymaker won his next match and advanced to the consolation finals where he lost and took 4th overall.

The Collinsville Cardinals performed fiercely in the State Tournament and even came out with three State Champions of the nine they took. Eight of the nine taken got on the podium, placing 1st through 4th. Collinsville defeated both Coweta and Altus in rankings, bit barely fell short behind Lawton Macarthur. Lawton Mac also placed with nearly every wrestler brought to compete, and sadly they had 11 State competitors compared to Collinsvill’s nine. The top four team rankings in the 5A State Tournament was 1st Lawton Macarthur: 134.0, 2nd Collinsville: 121.5, 3rd Coweta: 103.5, and 4th Altus: 78.0. The Collinsville Cardinals took runner-up at State and returned home with yet another trophy to add to their surplus of awards.

Devyn Lyon

Collinsville High School Senior, Class of 2018, Cross Country Captain and Cardinal Connection Staff Editor

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