Facing strong competition and gaining lots of experience Friday and Saturday, the Coweta Tiger wrestlers competed in the Larry Wilkey Invitational Tournament in Jenks. They came home with a second-place finish for heavyweight Caleb Phillips (285) and a sixth-place finish by Piper Pennington (195).

Coach Ashton Cooper said Friday morning his team was still dealing with nagging injuries. In fact, two of his wrestlers had spent time in the hospital over the past two weeks.

The lighter weights are a major setback right now for the Tigers as they try to get young wrestlers ready for varsity competition. Their 5A District Triangle competition is fast approaching.

Opening round action was a very positive day for the Tigers. They won seven of eight matches, six of those with pins, and had five wrestlers given a bye into the second round. Therefore, 12 Tigers continued on the winner’s side of the bracket.

Brock Hickman (106) was pinned in the first match, Cole Stevens (152) pinned his opponent and Dylan Barber (160) won a 7-5 decision. The next five wrestlers won by pins, including Gage Hamm (170), Johnny Fadeyev (182), Piper Pennington (195), Elijah Fadeyev (220) and Caleb Phillips (285).

Advancing to the second round with byes were CJ Clifton (138), Mason Kidd (138), Cadence Denton (145), Jesse McDermott (160) and Hudson Moudy (182).

On Thursday, Jan. 9, the Tigers traveled to Fort Gibson where they lost a close match, 40-39.

After opening with a forfeit win for Brock Hickman (106), Coweta forfeited the next three weights (113, 120, 126) and lost the next four weights to fall behind 40-6 before they could get to the strength of the lineup.

Kam Chrisman (132), CJ Clifton (138) and Cadence Denton (145) all three were pinned by Fort Gibson opponents and Cole Stevens (152) lost a major decision 11-3 before Coweta took control.

Jesse McDermott (160) pinned his opponent, Gage Hamm (170) won by forfeit, Hudson Moudy (182) scored a pin, Piper Pennington (195) won a 6-0 decision, Elijah Fadeyev (220) and once again Caleb Phillips (285) pinned his opponent for the one-point loss.

Next action for the Tiger wrestlers will be at Pryor Thursday night, followed by the 5A District Tri at Claremore Tuesday, Jan. 21 where they will battle the Zebras and Grove for a chance to compete in 5A Dual State Feb. 14-15 in Shawnee.