After winning two state titles and a regional title one year ago, the Comanche Indians wrestling team tried to duplicate that success, however found it a little more tough to repeat last weekend at the State Tournament.
It started with the first ever girl in Stephens County and Comanche High School history to qualify for the State Tournament when senior Gracie Yates qualified as a No. 5 seed in Regionals.
Yates wrestled in the 118 division and went to the wrestle-in match and finished by dropping the first match when Union’s Chanelle Alburg got the fall victory.
Despite being her first season, Yates was one of nine qualifiers for Comanche High School. The other eight wrestled on Saturday in the Class 3A State Championship on the boys’ side.
Five of the eight wrestlers qualified had to go to the wrestle-in match with four of them coming out victorious to move on to the quarterfinals in their respective divisions.
As the day went on, four of the eight wrestlers ended up in the placement matches with Kooper Doucet becoming the only Comanche wrestler who was going for a State Championship.
In the first placement match for the Indians, Lake Epperson had to go to the ultimate tiebreaker round in the third place match with Dezman Loving of Bethel High School.
Epperson scored one final point and got the 5-4 decision victory to take home the third place spot and win for the Indians to become the first state placer in the Class 3A State Tournament.
Kasen VanBuskirk started his day in the wrestle-in match and ended up with three wins to make it to the third place match against TJ Ramsey of Bethel.
VanBuskirk fought with Ramsey all three periods, however the Bethel Wrestler upended him with the 8-5 decision to give the Comanche 170 wrestler a fourth place finish.
The next match for the Indians brought up Doucet, who finished as state runner-up in his freshman season and went for a state title in his sophomore season as well.
Facing off against Seth Jackson of Sperry in the 182 division, Doucet battled all three periods, however Jackson took the 9-4 decision victory to give Doucet a second place finish for the Indians.
Cade White became the final state placer for the Indians as his two victories to get him to the third place match were by fall early in the second period on both matches.
White then faced off against Miccael Brown of Tonkawa and battled all three periods in the heavyweight division and dropped a 4-0 decision to finish off with a fourth place finish.
Despite an eighth place finish as a team, the Indians didn’t leave as a team empty handed as they were named the Class 3A State Academic Champions.
The Indians received the State Academic Champions before the placement matches in the second session of the Class 3A State Tournament.
It is not the end of the season for the Indians as they will try and defend their 3A Dual State Championship in the next couple of weeks.
Comanche will face Blackwell in the first round of the Class 3A Dual State Championship starting at 4 p.m. March 13 in Enid at Stride Bank Center.
If they are victorious, they will head to the semi-finals beginning at 5:30 p.m. March 13 and if they get back to the championship match, it will take place at 7:30 p.m. March 13 in Enid.