Aaron Colen, Sports Editor, Aaron.Colen@chickashanews.com
It’s more about individual effort than dual scores for the Chickasha High School wrestling team at this point of the season.
Winning district duals and going to dual state would be nice, but that has never really been head coach Chad Randle’s aim for his team. The goal for Randle is to get as many kids into the state tournament as possible.
“These last three weeks I start talking about winning big matches, how to wrestle on the edge, how to win smart,” Randle said. “I’ve always told kids I don’t like to teach wrestling. I like to teach kids how to win, and wrestling goes with it."
Chickasha was a heavy underdog in the first district dual Tuesday night against Lawton MacArthur, and predictably lost the dual before beating Western Heights later in the evening.
Randle said he wasn’t surprised with how the district duals played out.
“The outcomes were about what I thought,” Randle said of the district duals. “We were far outmatched against [Lawton MacArthur]. The deal with that is to try to win some individual battles, and some matches that we might be outgunned that we scrap with them and learn how to battle hard in the third period.”
The Fightin’ Chicks won four matches in the first dual against Lawton MacArthur, which the heavily-favored Highlanders won 56-21.
Dakota Resendez won his match at 113 pounds with a pin 1:18 into the first period. David Eakers pinned his opponent 1:46 into the second period at 138 pounds.
Josh Latham won the 182 match against by getting a takedown with less than 10 seconds remaining in the match, giving him an 8-6 decision. Jacoby Brown won the heavyweight match by fall midway through the second period.
The lower weights are where Chickasha has the least experience, and where Lawton MacArthur was the strongest. Lamar Neff, Dominic Neff, Denver Calhoun and Dalton Phillips all lost their matches, but Randle was pleased with the effort.
“When you have a scared kid out there, you can tell,” Randle said. “And I didn’t see that, in those five weights, every one of those kids, other than Dakota, they all knew they were outgunned. And they went out there and wrestled, and you could tell they were out there trying to score points.”
Following the Lawton MacArthur dual, Chickasha beat Western Heights in a dual, 54-21.
Dominic Neff, Dalton Phillips, David Eakers, Triston Hill and Coy Richardson all won their matches by fall. Jacoby Brown and Denver Calhoun won by decision. Riley Williams won by Western Heights forfeit.
“Against Western Heights, we wrestled better, but I told them we should,” Randle said. “They had scrappy kids that were better wrestlers, and if we didn’t go out there and scrap back, that it could be bad. But we didn’t let that happen, we took care of our business which I was happy about.”
The Chickasha wrestling team is scheduled to host Noble at 6 p.m. tonight for a dual on the Chicks’ senior night, and will host the annual Chickasha Invitational tournament Friday and Saturday at the Activity Center.