By Nick Snow
STILLWATER, Okla. —
With three forfeit wins even before the match started, it looked like the Stillwater High School wrestling team was going to make quick work of Muskogee Thursday at the Pioneer Fieldhouse.
Instead, it was the Roughers who made it look easy — recording four first-period pins in about a five-minute span to defeat the Pioneers 51-23 on Senior Night.
“When you give up three forfeits right at the beginning and then we get tech falled, those are the kind of matches that you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Muskogee coach Bobby Jefferson said. “You have 16-, 17- and 18-year-old kids and if they have a bad match, we’re in deep trouble. We kind of got it rolling and we knew we had to get it rolling by 145 and we did. I was pleased with the intensity we wrestled with.”
There were some bright spots for Stillwater. Sophomore D.J. Peckham fought hard but lost an 8-4 decision to Tristan Watson in the 285-pound match, while Cori Andrews’ escape six seconds into the third period gave him a 3-2 victory over Stillwater senior Cody Knight at 195.
But guys like Muskogee’s 160-pounder Jacobe Smith and 145-pounder Dewaylon Barnes were too much for Stillwater — which was without junior King Williams and senior Cory Revier.
“We didn’t have all the bullets in the gun that’s for sure,” Stillwater coach Doug Chesbro said. “They forfeited some weights where we probably would have won anyway. It just wasn’t our night. ... As far as a dual meet goes, that was our worst matchup kid-for-kid that we were involved in all year. We did not match up with them well at all and they wrestled really well on top of that.”
Along with forfeits in favor of Kennedy Monday, Mason Davis and Kaid Brock, Stillwater’s only other points came from Joe Smith’s 20-5 technical fall win over Micah Foster, as Stillwater took a 23-6 lead.
Muskogee, on the other hand, got a 6-1 decision from Matt Acee at 138 pounds, before rattling off five straight falls — four of them in the first period to turn that deficit into a lead they never relinquished.
Barnes started the string of falls by pinning Beau Bigheart with 48 seconds left in the first period, while James Buckhanan, Smith and J.T. Andrews followed with pins. Stillwater’s C.J. Citizen managed to make it to the second period, but eventually Hayden Kolmes also pinned him to the mat with eight seconds left in the second period.
“It’s real hard to go from being up almost 30 points to see a win fade away like that, but it’s something you have to deal with,” Knight said. “Being around wrestling long enough and especially by the end of the year, you kind of know what’s going to happen. It stinks, but we knew it was going to come.”
Stillwater may have ended its dual season on a sour note, but with regionals coming up Knight is hopeful the Pioneers will get an opportunity to get a little revenge.
“I feel like if I get another shot, I could beat him,” Knight said. “Hopefully, I’ll see him again at regionals. We wrestled twice and the second time was closer than the first, but I do hope for another shot. I’m real excited about regionals. As a senior, you have nothing to lose so I’m just going to go out there and do my best.”