By Andrew Glover
STILLWATER, Okla. —
The Stillwater High School wrestling team opened its season on Nov. 27 avenging a district dual loss from last season. Thursday, Stillwater will have another opportunity as it visits Sapulpa and competes in Perry Tournament Friday and Saturday.
“(The Sapulpa dual) will determine our representative to the dual state tournament,” coach Doug Chesbro said. “We turn around the next day and go to the Perry Tournament. It’s one of the toughest in the state.”
The Pioneers beat Claremore 48-30 in the season opener and are coming off a 42-29 victory over Bartlesville Tuesday. Junior Benny Teegarden said it will be a big matchup.
“They are in our district, so we have to get that dual win to qualify for dual state,” Teegarden said. “The only thing on our mind is going to Sapulpa and getting that dual win.”
The lower weights have dominated the Pioneers’ dual victories but opponents have been able to come back in the middle weights. Chesbro said his team has to avoid allowing Sapulpa to gain bonus points in matches.
“It’s big. If we get the same seven matches (against Bartlesville) and go 7-7 it all comes down to bonus points,” Chesbro said. “I think we are doing a good job of getting bonus points but we are also giving a lot up. We have to stop that if we are going to win Thursday.”
Friday and Saturday, the Pioneers will face some state powerhouses including Perry and Muskogee.
Senior Beau Bigheart said everyone is excited about the tournament.
“We’ve just got to keep doing what we are doing,” Bigheart said. “Mentally we are getting there and physically we are to. We are working out hard like champions. I think our guys are ready to step up.”
Teegarden said it will be a good test for them.
“Perry is pretty good and I think Muskogee is going to be there,” Teegarden said. “There are some big powerhouse schools there. We just have to have a couple good days of practice and go to Perry and wrestle hard.”
Chesbro said he hopes to get a better idea of his lineup during the Perry Tournament.
“We will have King Williams at 120,” Chesbro said. “We are going to be really tough at 106, 113, 120, 126, 132 and possibly 138. So we are going to have a big row of kids ready to go. We place most of those kids, we are going to find ourselves close to the front of the leader board.”
Chesbro said he thinks his team can finish with a successful weekend.
“I could see us having five semifinalists, possibly five finalists,” Chesbro said. “Who knows? Or we could have a couple. It’s early in the year for most teams. It’s a good milestone or benchmark to see how you are doing to this point.”