The 2013 portion of Tahlequah’s wrestling season ended with duals being postponted in Bristow on Dec. 21. The same story almost played out for the Tigers to start the 2014 slate.
Even with school being called off on Tuesday, Tahlequah will still host Bishop Kelley at 5 p.m. at the Tahlequah Multipurpose Activity Center. For the Tigers, it’ll be their first District 5A-6 dual of the season.
In the Comets, Tahlequah will take on a club that qualified one wrestler — Brice Inbody — for the Class 5A state tournament last season.
But focus is a must, Tahlequah coach James Rappe said.
“We can’t overlook anybody,” Rappe said. “We’ve had pretty good showings against Bishop Kelley in the past. We have some matchups with some young kids that could be in some close matches, so it could be a close (dual).”
For the duals against Skiatook and Shawnee to mean anything later on in January and for a trip to dual state to be a possibility, Tahlequah will have to take care of business against the Comets.
“A trip to dual state is definitely one of our goals as a team this year,” Rappe said. “So we have to win to be able to make dual state.”
Tahlequah enters tonight’s dual against Bishop Kelley with a 4-0 record in duals. After duals at Miami and McAlester were called off due to inclement weather, the Tigers beat Claremore, 45-32, before going 3-0 — wins over Mannford, Sulphur and Bristow — at the Bristow dual tournament.
“The kids have wrestled well with the opportunities we’ve had this year,” Rappe said. “The kids are starting to turn the corner a little bit. They keep getting better every time on the mat.”
Rappe just hopes his wrestlers don’t max out their potential before February rolls around.
“I hope we can continue to wrestle and improve and peak at the right time of the season,” Rappe said. “I don’t want to hit the top of that wave at the beginning of February. The end is what matters.”