By Mike Kays
Stillwater News Press
MUSKOGEE, Okla. —
Top-ranked Stillwater High's wrestling team capped an impressive regular season Saturday. Where they go from here depends on maintaining momentum and health through a week's worth of practice.
So sayeth their coach, Doug Chesbro, following a 60-12 road thumping of Muskogee.
"We've been rolling and hopefully, we can keep everybody healthy as we move on down the road."
No doubt, they're a lock as the top seed in the east for Dual State which starts Friday at Yukon High School. And if Saturday's effort is indicative of what's down the road, the Pioneers are in good shape.
It's hard to see otherwise in a 17-0 season that ended like this one did.
Beginning with Andrew Neiman at 108 pounds, it was a pin parade. Tyler Dieringer at 115, Jacob Fontanez at 122 and Kaid Brock at 134 made it four falls in the first five matches. Muskogee (6-3, No. 7) didn't see a lead of any kind until Micah Foster scored the first points against Chase Lane on a takedown at 140. But Lane countered with four unanswered points to join Bobby Eschelmann with points wins.
The falls resumed after that with Tristan Moran and Joe Smith going back-to-back at 147 and 154 for a 42-0 advantage before the Roughers ended the shutout at 162. Dawaylon Barnes got a second-period pin on Pete Pickens.
It was business as usual for Brock, the defending Class 6A champ at 113 and Smith, last year's runner-up at 132.
"Those kids are always going to give a good effort," Chesbro said. "Kaid's been a little banged up and (Matt Acee, his opponent Saturday) is a tough kid. I thought we'd get a lead on him and he'd try to hold the score down to keep us from bonus points but we were able to get the fall.
"We weren't sure who they were going to get to wrestle Joe. He was expecting Dawaylon and it caught him off guard the first 30 seconds of the match so he didn't look his best but he finished like a champion."
"When they moved Dawaylon up, I mean, they did what was best for their team and I was a little shell-shocked," he said. "I had to refocus, but I got in my groove and back to the basics and it was all good."
Chandler Rogers got a pin at 172 for the Pioneers, then Oklahoma State-bound Jacobe Smith, moved up a weight for the Roughers, fought off Jordan Dieringer on points, 8-3. C.J. Citizen got another Stillwater pin at 197 and the Pioneers' final points came on a forfeit at 222 for Cyntrell Carden when Muskogee's Elijah Pettey failed to make weight.
Chesbro said Dieringer was off the mark from a mental standpoint, again the result of an unexpected matchup.
"If we'd had an inkling we'd wrestle Jacobe at 182, we'd been more prepared than we were," Chesbro said. "We had some instances where we could have scored and didn't but it was an instance of being in the match and not believing we were in the match."
The one concern Chesbro had was the last bit of momentum was Muskogee's. At 285, the Roughers' Adonis Cole, owning a 58-pound disadvantage against James Brower, got a takedown with :02 left in the match to win 6-4, avenging Brower's pin in tournament action a week ago at Blackwell.
"You want a positive ending. We didn't get that," he said.
But it's hardly a common occurrence this season.
Next up is in all likelihood a quarterfinal hookup with Midwest City in one of four quarterfinals on Friday.