Article:    
Coweta Tigers Win first dual state title in school history
11/30/2017 12:07 AM

Not only getting it done, but doing so in dominant fashion, the 2016 Coweta Tiger grapplers stormed through the 5-time state champion Collinsville Cardinals Saturday to secure Coweta’s first dual wrestling championship in school history.

The Tigers scored 25 straight points to take a 34-18 advantage with two weights left.

Electing to forfeit 145 and 152 because the points were not needed, the Tigers finished off a tremendous run through duals and tournaments with a 34-30 championship performance.

Coweta defeated Altus 34-24 in the afternoon semi-finals to advance to the championship match on Saturday evening. They opened the tournament by defeating Piedmont 57-15 in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Major highlight of the night was Cole Clemmons’ (220) technical fall over Collinsville’s Dylan Dobbs 22-5. His win pulled the Tigers within two, trailing 13-11 after the first five matches.

Clemmons suffered a scary injury in the semi-finals against Altus when an illegal hold slammed him to the mat. He was limp on the mat for several minutes while tournament trainers worked with him.

Finally able to roll over and sit up, he was able to walk off the mat with assistance. He returned for the finals with a determination to win 22-5.

Two-time individual state heavyweight champion senior Griffin Qualls followed with a pin of Jackson Wilson in 0:44 to put the Tigers on top to stay 17-13 at that point. The match started at 160, so a major strength of the Coweta lineup was still to wrestle.

“This is what we wanted all along, this is great!” Coach David Gilstrap exclaimed after the match. “When you win five in a row, that is something special and we knew we had to go out and give all we have in us if we were going to have a chance.”

“All year we have been trying to do the best with what we have to work with, getting the kids in the right weights and in condition to get the job done. We beat a very fine team tonight,” Gilstrap continued.

The coach said Clemmons’ match was special and the entire team fed off of it.

“I have won two state championships, but they were nothing like the feeling I have tonight being able to be a part of winning this state championship,” senior heavyweight Griffin Qualls said with a big smile.

Following the heavyweight pin by Qualls, the Tiger lightweights took command of the match.

Corbyn Edwards (106) defeated Collinsville’s Connor Henson 8-4 (20-13), Bennett Moudy (113) defeated Collinsville’s Xavier Cullers 6-4 (23-13), Dillon Prutch defeated Cardinal Gunner Hamm 4-3 (26-13), Reece Witcraft (126) scored a technical fall over Cardinal Pete Flippo 24-7 (31-13) and the championship was in the bag for the Tigers.

Ricky Turner lost by a technical fall to Collinsville’s Nate Keim 18-4 for the Cardinals’ final points scored on the mat before the Tigers forfeited 145 and 152.

Senior Fletcher Edwards (138) defeated Collinsville's Ryce Haymaker 7-5 to put the Tigers up 34-18. The win insured a 5A Dual State Championship with two matches left on the slate.

At that point the Coweta celebration was in full swing both on the mat and with fans in the stands.

In the early matches, Talon Borror (160) lost to Collinsville’s Tony Connor 7-1 and Zane Davis (170) lost by a major fall to Collinsville’s Josh Arnold 12-3.

Bear Hughes broke the Cardinal string by pinning Trace Daugherty in 0:49 for the Tigers’ first six points.

Nick Long was pinned by Collinsville’s Roc Robbins in 4:22, giving Collinsville a 13-6 lead heading into Clemmons’ 220 match.

Now Coweta moves on to individual regional competition Friday and Saturday in Tahlequah, with a tough slate facing the new champion Tigers.

Competing for slots in next weekend’s individual state championships in Oklahoma City will be Tulsa Kelley, Midwest City Carl Albert, Claremore, Collinsville, Coweta, Duncan, Durant, Tulsa East Central, Tulsa Edison, Glenpool, Tulsa Hale, McAlester, Tulsa Memorial, Pryor, Skiatook and Tahlequah.

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