Tuttle wins fourth team title in a row
BY JOHN RITTENOURE World Correspondent
Sunday, February 26, 2012
2/26/12 at 8:06 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - Any hopes that Cushing had for a state wrestling championship fell short on Saturday night at State Fair Arena. Tuttle won three of a possible six championship round matches to top Cushing and earn its fourth consecutive 4A team championship.
The defending champs won at 120, 170 and 285 but lost matches at 138, 145 and 152. But it was still enough for the team title.
"We were a little disappointed that we had a couple of state champs get beat," Tuttle coach Matt Server said. "The hard part about it is we had the team score sewed up.
"We had six guys competing tonight, and individual state championships are pretty important. It is one of our biggest goals. Number one goal is our team winning. We had three guys come up second, and that is a little disappointing. But we had three state champs as well, and two of them got their first ones."
Tuttle's Gunner Laffon pinned Kaleb Furr of Mannford at 120, Zach Beard had a 7-2 decision over Zach Buntin of Mannford at 170, and at 285, Nathan Jackson had a 2-1 decision over Jeff Byrd of Sallisaw.
Tuttle's Levi Berry lost a 5-2 decision to Don Ervin of Weatherford and Dakota Head fell 5-3 to Kyle Knight of Cushing.
"This morning we won two matches in a row, and yesterday we started with eleven in a row," said Server. "We though we could win all six of them tonight. We won a lot of matches this weekend, so it is pretty exciting."
Server was especially proud of Beard and Jackson.
"We had one kid (Zach Beard) win his third in a row and will be going for a fourth next year," Server said. "That is pretty rare. Nathan Jackson is our first state champion in history at heavyweight (285).
"Our kids worked hard and believe in themselves. That is four in a row."
For Beard, it was the end to a special season as he came into the meet with a 39-0 record.
"It has been a pretty tough season, but went undefeated and dominated most of my opponents," Beard said.
Beard was relieved it was over as he was not feeling 100 percent.
"I was sick last weekend and did not get to practice all week," Beard said. "I just did what I could do and came out on top."
Beard was also surprised to be wrestling Buntin for the title.
"I did not figure I would have him in the finals," Beard said. "I did not do anything to work on him. I just do what I do and it worked."
Kyle Driscoll brought home his first title for Cascia Hall at 152 coming into the meet 46-0.
"It feels wonderful. A undefeated season," said Driscoll, who scored a 5-4 decision over Tuttle's Sterling Hawkins. "It is an amazing feeling. I would not ask for anything else. And the crowd made it better.
"That is my first state title and first undefeated season."
Driscoll felt he had to get control early in the match.
"I stayed on offense and pushed him because he is a defending state champion. I just kept the pressure on him. It was very close at the end. ...
"Next year I am coming back and do it again."
Cushing's Kyle Knight celebrates after defeating Tuttle's Dakota Head during the Class 4A state wrestling tournament Saturday in Oklahoma City. GARETT FISBECK/For The Tulsa World