Bronco grapplers take second in district duals
By Kyle Salomon
Mustang grapplers used numerous pins to help lead them to a second-place finish in district duals on Jan. 21 in the Mustang High School gym.
The Broncos wrestling team won two district duals matches and lost one on the day. Mustang defeated Norman North 46-26 and Choctaw 40-36. The squad fell to Southmoore 40-24. The Sabercats went 3-0 on the day to capture the district dual championship and qualify for the state duals.
“I was really proud of the way our guys came back and competed after losing to Southmoore in our first dual of the day,” Mustang head coach Dave Rankin said. “We fought back and won our next two duals, which shows a lot of heart and a lot of character for these kids.”
In the 18-point loss to Southmoore, the Bronco wrestlers lost nine out of 14 matches. Their five wins were led by freshman Trey Edwards in the 120-pound weight class, taking down his Sabercat opponent in a first-period fall.
Senior Gareth Ballard didn’t have any problems with his opponent from Southmoore in the 132-pound weight division with a first-period fall. Junior 138-pounder Jordan Kalmeyer got a big win against Southmoore with a 13-2 victory.
Junior Redmond Wilkerson at 160 pounds defeated his counterpart from Southmoore 6-2, and senior Clay Feland pinned his opponent in the 220-pound weight class in the second period.
In the 106-pound weight class, sophomore Jason Clark got pinned in the second round. Freshman 113-pounder Corbin Hardin lost in a first-period fall. Freshman 126-pounder Gage McBride fell 12-7 in his match.
Senior 145-pounder Robert King was pinned by his counterpart in the second period against Southmoore. Senior Zac Julian fell to 5-3 in the 152-pound class. Junior 170-pounder Zach Butler was pinned in the second round.
Senior David McCright lost a tight battle that could have gone either way, 7-6, in the 182-pound bout. Junior 195-pounder Mark Casteneda lost 4-3 to his opponent, and senior Dylan Needham fell in a first-period pin in the 285-pound battle.
In the 20-point victory over Norman North, the Broncos won nine out of 14 matches including five falls against the Timberwolves.
Their nine victories included Edwards in the 120-pound weight class in a technical fall. McBride also won in a technical fall in the 126-pound division. Ballard continued with his impressive performances with a 9-4 win in the 132-pound bout.
King took out his Norman counterpart with a first-period fall. Butler won the 170-pound battle in a forfeit. McCright pinned his opponent in the first period in the 182-pound class. Casteneda took the 195-pound bout in a forfeit.
Feland dominated his Norman North opponent with a first-period pin in the 220-pound bout, while Needham got a 6-2 victory in the heavyweight battle.
The Mustang varsity grappling team placed 10th in the Yukon Jay Hancock Invitational last weekend. Mustang placed five wrestlers in the two-day event.
McCright took fifth place in the 182-pound weight class. Feland finished sixth in the 220-pound weight division. Ballard took sixth at 132 pounds. Julian placed sixth at 152 pounds, and McBride took sixth at 126 pounds.
“David (McCright) is really having a special year for us in his senior season,” Rankin said. “He is 19-12 this season and has really helped us on points with a lot of his wins being falls. He is a very strong and hard-working kid. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
The Bronco junior varsity grappling team competed in the Piedmont Invitational last weekend and took seventh place as a team.
Butler, Casteneda, junior Fazion Densby, Hardin and sophomore Fernando Vasquez all placed in the tournament for Mustang.
The varsity squad returns to action tonight against Westmoore in a dual match with the Jaguars.
You can reach Kyle Salomon at firstname.lastname@example.org