Article:    
Coweta wrestling should be exciting during rebuilding year
11/30/2017 8:31 PM

With tremendous success over the past few years in both 5A Dual State and Individual State Championships, Coweta Tiger Wrestling is poised for another challenge at the championship after winning the Dual title two years ago.

Second year head coach Ashton Cooper is excited about the prospects for 2017-18 season, but at the same time is well grounded in what it will take to get a chance again this season.

“We are young, but talented and I feel we are ready to rock and roll as the season gains momentum. It is evident on the floor now that we are committed to work hard and we did well at placing at the Broken Arrow meet last week,” Cooper said.

“Our four seniors will provide solid leadership through our lineup, and can expect strong support from our juniors as we gain experience on the mat. Opening at home Dec. 5 with 4A Fort Gibson, we jump into the fire the second dual as we host the rival Collinsville Cardinals on Dec. 7.

“Seniors Bennett Moudy, Ricky Turner, Bryan Ford and Dakota McCaleb will be counted on for major points early in the season along with defending 170 State Champion junior Talon Borror. Borror was 39-3 last year as a sophomore.

“I really feel we have the potential to battle for the state titles once again, we expect to win regionals and have won our district title five years in a row. If we can win again this year we will tie the program record from 1991-96.”

Moudy just learned this week he has been accepted as a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy where he will be able to continue his wrestling career at the college level. That is an accomplishment for a Tiger athlete.

Coweta’s 5A district includes Pryor and Tahlequah this year and the 16-team regional will feature Collinsville, Skiatook and Claremore that are going to all be solid competition throughout the season.

Assisting coach Cooper this year will be new assistant Gunnor Woodburn, two-time state champions at Claremore, followed by a college career at Wyoming. Heading the Junior High program will be Peter Carter, former wrestling coach at Sapulpa and Cushing. Carter will be assisted by former Coweta player and current assistant, Blake Dunn.

Coach Cooper has been researching wrestling history over the 45 years of the program and has found some interesting facts. Over the years Coweta has had 117 state placers and 24 state champions. The Tigers are tied with Altus for the most 5A Dual State appearances, both have been there 17 times.

The Tigers will get tested early at the Bristow Chuck West Tournament Dec. 1-2 and will return to the Kansas City Stampede Dec. 13. They will also compete in the Jenks Tournament and the Jay Hancock Invitational at Yukon later in the season.

Opening the season, coach Cooper sees Collinsville as the 5A No. 1, followed probably by Lawton Mac, then Coweta and Altus. He pointed out Skiatook is young, but constantly improving.

“We are going to enjoy the young lower weight wrestlers we put on the mat this year, our junior high program over the past couple of years has been rocking and rolling and they are ready for the varsity mat. They are showing good potential on the mat during preseason.

“Power wrestlers Griffin Qualls and Bear Hughes are gone now, we are replacing them with athletes with a fighting attitude and we are going in as a definite underdog, which gives us a chip on our shoulder to grow on for intensity. Our new talent is going to be exciting.”

Coach Cooper pointed out junior Borror was named an All-American at the Fargo, N.D., Cadet Tournament, competing at 170. That is a big boost in confidence for the team.

Seniors Moudy (33-7) and Ford (29-15) were 5A runner-ups last year at 120 and 152, respectively. Turner (33-13) finished fourth and McCaleb (25-12) was a state qualifier. The Tigers finished third in the Individual State Championship.

Missing this year will be junior Reece Witcraft after he transferred to Broken Arrow this year.

Also returning for the Tigers will be juniors Dillon Hooper (152) and Zane Collinsworth (220) and coach Cooper added, freshman Wesley Spohn is set to move into the lineup at 113.

After returning from Kansas City, the Tigers will complete the pre-holidays portion of the schedule hosting Fort Gibson and Broken Arrow for a tri-meet Dec. 18 and will host Glenpool Dec. 21.

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