By ZACH TUCKER
Tuesday evening, the Zebras of Claremore made their way to Tahlequah High School to face the Tiger wrestling club. The Tigers, now 3-0 on the season in dual play, faced many difficulties in their 35-33 win over Claremore. A mishap during the weigh-in left the Tigers unable to send a wrestler to the 170-pound weight class.
Tahlequah coach James Rappe bumped up a few wrestlers to deal with the adversity and it worked out in this dual, which would come down to a heavy weight win, by default. Tate Medlin, in the opening match of the dual, pinned Bryce Magness of Claremore just a minute and 50 seconds into the faceoff.
That set the pace for the Tigers.
“It was really hectic to find replacement and our guys really came together and bought into the team concept and a pin to open the night was a great start,” Rappe said.
The Zebras took the 113 and 120 weights before Wrighter Weavel took back the momentum for the Tigers. Weavel won his match in a 5-0 decision, which started a roll for the Tigers.
Paul Sargent, Mitch Sellars, Trent Patrick, Heston Lamons and Reese Davis all won to give the Tigers a large lead heading into the upper weight classes.
“I came in over weight and cut a few pounds and was ready to go,” Weavel said, “so then I just focused and took care of business.”
Claremore turned it on at the 170-pound mark and would win the next four matches to take the team lead before forfeiting the heavyweight class, which cost them the dual.
“Our big guys might not have won their matches late in the dual, but they really hung in there and kept their opponents from scoring too many points to keep our chances of winning alive and it worked out,” Lamons said.
Thursday the Tigers will head to McAlester High School for a dual and then begin to prepare for districts and regional events after the winter break. The most important date on the schedule is Jan. 15 at Skiatook where the Tigers must beat Skiatook, Coweta and Tulsa Memorial to earn their spot in the dual state tournament.
“We will return a couple key guys and once that happens we will be firing out of every cylinder and be ready to play our way into dual state,” Rappe said.