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Huge crowd excited by wrestling tip-off
Team shows talent, depth in Saturday's showcase event
Curtis Crouch attempts to control Gunnar Robirts during thier 195-pound match at the Cowboy Blue and Gold Wrestle-offs. Crouch went on to defeat Robirts 9-7 in overtime in one of the most exciting matches of the night.
November 19, 2012
The Crook County High School wrestling team kicked off the season Saturday night with the annual Blue and Gold Wrestling Tip-off event.
"It was a typical night for early in the season," said head coach Jake Huffman. "We had four practices before we competed tonight, but we have a lot of guys that have bought in and that are working hard."
A packed house watched the event, which is a fundraiser for the wrestling program, as well as a chance to highlight the talent on the team. The crowd was treated to some outstanding wrestling, as the Cowboys showed that they are both a talented and deep squad of wrestlers.
The blue squad dominated the competition, outpointing the gold team 40-23. However, many of the matches were much closer than the final scores indicated.
Freshman Brent Bannon opened the match up for the blue team with a first-round pin over fellow freshman Trey Shores in their 106-pound match.
Jason Williams closed the gap for the gold team, winning an 8-4 decision over Trevor Rasmussen in their heavyweight match. Then Trayton Libolt out-pointed Johnny Avina 5-2 in an exciting 113-pound match to briefly tie the competition.
However, the blue team won the next three matches as they took control of the scrimmage.
First, Gunnar Crawford pinned Zach Smith midway through the second round of their 220-pound match. Brad Howard made quick work of Taylor Shockney, winning by fall early in the second round of their 120-pound match.
Then came the most exciting match of the night. The gold team's Gunnar Robirts jumped out to a 4-1 lead over Curtis Crouch by the end of the first round. Robirts still held a 7-6 lead with time winding down in the third and final round of the match. However, Crouch earned an escape just as time expired, sending the match into overtime. In the overtime round, Crouch was able to get a takedown to win the match 9-7 and give the blue team an insurmountable 21-6 lead.
Grayson Munn finally won a match for the gold team, taking a 15-3 major decision over Cole Ovens in their 126-pound match. However, the blue squad quickly rebounded as Dylan Blasius defeated Ethan Broughton 14-5 in their 182-pound match. Then Hayden Bates pinned Dooley Willis in the first round of their 132-pound match and the blue team led 31-10. The gold team finally won again when Dean Smith outpointed Aaron Swindle 5-4 in an action-packed 170-pound match.
When Colbran Meeker shut out Michael Seyl 12-0 in their 138-pound match, the gold team closed to 31-17. However, that was as close as they would get as the blue squad won the next two matches to guarantee the win.
Clark Woodward looked impressive as he controlled the entire match en route to an 11-2 win over Payden Robison in their 160-pound match. Then, Dawson Barber pinned Tyler King early in the second round of their 145-pound match.
The gold team's Alex Urrea closed out the scrimmage with a first-round pin of Ethan Burch at 152 pounds.
"We had some kids surprise us tonight," Huffman said. "We have such a competitive room that kids have to stay sharp or they might lose their spot. That's what happened in a couple of matches tonight, and that's what is going to make us tough is having that competition every day in practice."
Huffman added that he was pleased with both how hard the team has been working in practice and how well they competed in the scrimmage.
"I thought the whole team stood out in the fact that everybody went out there and wrestled hard and did their best," he said. "We have a lot of things to work on. We made a lot of technical mistakes, but our effort and our heart was where it needed to be. There's no reason that we won't be where we want to be when it comes time for the first competition."
Huffman was also pleased with the crowds and the support that he saw from the community.
"It always amazes us how the community rallies around this wrestling team to raise the money that we need to have a complete season," he said. "We had a great crowd tonight. It was a good way to get the season started."