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Choctaw roster bulks up in time for Dual State

After a season full of sickness and injury, Choctaw’s No.2-ranked Yellowjackets expect to have a full roster heading into state competition.
Choctaw High School hosted Class 3A’s No.3-ranked Comanche wrestlers to a Senior Night 2018 dual last Tuesday.
The Jan. 23 matchup started with a strong showing from the visiting Indians, but by the end of the night CHS wrestling did what they do best securing their seventh dual win of the season.
Choctaw’s Jackets quickly found themselves in a rare scenario, as Comanche secured two falls in two matches.
Lake Epperson caught Levi Harris early in the 106-pound opener and then Jaxon Miller produced a similar win over Alec Awen at 120.
Choctaw’s 126-pound Andy Schlapfer finally put the Jackets on the board with a second period pin on Comanche’s Colton Martin.
That combined with Caleb Williams forfeit win at 113 tied it up 12-12, and then the Jackets got to work.
Gabe Johnson came out securing a quick takedown and then claimed the fall early on Trever Cusumano.
Connor Holman faced a serious fight at 138 against Trent Cusumano, but in the end he claimed five points with the tech fall bumping Choctaw’s lead to 23-12.
Zach Mayes caught Briar Eaton in the second period as Comanche claimed their third fall.
At 152 Comanche’s Ethan Hamrick caught Ray J. Navarro late to claim six with a third-period fall.
Jefferson Speer answered quick pinning Kyle Lockey early in the first.
Jaryn Curry followed suit securing a fall in the second period of his 170-pound match with Cade Cook.
In a 182-pound match, Zane Coleman went the distance with Dailen Presgrove to add three to Choctaw’s lead, 38-24.
In a 195-pound bout Choctaw’s Easton Rendleman wrestled up against one of the nation’s best in Konnor Doucet. After going scoreless in regulation time and the first minute of overtime, Doucet escapes and it’s good for the 3-point decision.
However, that was the end of the line for Comanche as Choctaw’s big guys didn’t disappoint.
Gary Dockery, at 220, and Caulin Poole, at 285, each recorded second period falls launching CHS to a 50-27 win.
Despite the win, head coach Benny Coleman knows the performance isn’t good enough to finish the year where he plans to be, claiming another Class 6A state team title.
Comanche secured just over half the points of Choctaw, but the Indians did it with just five wins.
“They had a lot of things on their mind at senior night. You can’t give up 24 points in four matches. We’ve got to get better at fighting off our backs,” said Coleman. “We’re getting better, but we just need to keep working on getting off bottom. They’re a good team, and they came to wrestle. To win it you have to have 14 kids wrestling, and we didn’t have that tonight.”
Even though four Jackets got caught giving falls to Comanche, Coleman was proud of his team’s overall effort and especially the work involved in Choctaw’s only other loss.
“Comanche is tough. They have some kids who are state placers, and that kid Rendleman faced is a top kid in the nation. That’s a match we wanted to see. He’s a 195-pounder and we’re a 182-pounder, but it goes into overtime so Rendleman wrestled a good match. To move up and wrestle a kid like that to an overtime decision is good,” explained Coleman. “Gabe Johnson returned tonight who has been out with a broken wrist. Most kids are up a weight, and once we get everyone in the lineup and where they’re supposed to be this will be a different team.”
Curry, a senior and future University of Oklahoma wrestler, is confident the season will end similar to his sophomore year when Choctaw made history claiming the trifecta of team wrestling state championships in addition to claiming several individual titles.
“I haven’t been beat at 160 yet so once I get down to my real weight things should be good. We’ve had some kids out sick and Gabe had a broken wrist so once we get them back in the lineup we should be good. We got beat by Broken Arrow by four points, but we had five kids out and everyone was wrestling up. It’s not good to get beat, but you can look at the positive from it,” said Curry.
“I see myself getting the No. 1 seed and our team getting the No. 1 seed at dual state. I think it’s ours to lose. I expect to end up on top, and I hope everyone ends up on top. We have a lot of talent in the room, and I expect to see some of these guys sign. But for some of these guys it’s their last go round, and I want to send everyone out with the best year possible.”
Choctaw’s final dual of the regular season will be Feb. 1 at No. 4 Edmond North.
A win should put Choctaw as the No. 1 seed heading to the Dual State Wrestling Championship Feb. 9-10 at Firelake Arena in Shawnee. Official brackets will be released Feb. 5.
Choctaw has already secured the District Championship with wins over Lawton, 75-6; U.S. Grant, 70-6, and Putnam City North, 66-11. Meanwhile, Edmond North sits atop their district with wins over Midwest City, Westmoore and Putnam City.
The Regional Wrestling Tournament will be Feb. 16-17 followed by the State Wrestling Tournament Feb. 23-24.

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