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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Indians win MWC tourney; 9 area champs

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  • An unstoppable ball of energy, Plainview coach Rocky Atencio jolted from mat to mat, so many of his wrestlers in matches he couldn't stay put.
    Saturday's action fit his style. The Indians put six wrestlers in finals matches at the Midwestern Conference Tournament, winning four to highlight a tournament victory among a field of 15 schools.
    Plainview, Sulphur, Madill, Ardmore and Davis each went home with a champion, as area schools had winners in nine weight classes and finalists in all but three. Zac Atencio (106 pounds), Matt Gragg (126), Cade Wheelwright (132) and Drake Martel (160) each won titles for the Indians, who all but wrapped up the tournament title before the finals matches began.
    Plainview defeated second-place Harrah 254.5-182.5. Noble was third (169) followed by Madill (113). Plainview placed a wrestler at each weight class.
    "Pretty big win for us; I was extremely happy," Atencio said. "I thought our kids were really tested and they responded well."
    Zac Atencio started the night off for Plainview with a dominant tech fall victory over Braden Visnieski of Harrah, going ahead 5-0 before Visnieski could respond.
    Wheelwright and Martel, each seniors, each had grittier matches, but both won by decision, 5-1 and 5-4 respectively. Gragg scored his first tournament win and his first place finish of the season on his 17th birthday.
    "I hope to build on this," Gragg said. "My season hasn't really been that great; I'm just starting to pick my head up.
    "I was very proud of me and my teammates. My teammates did really well, had a lot of heart out there and never really gave up."
    Wheelwright said it was huge for Plainview to see Gragg come through on Saturday. Be it through atrition or injury, the Indians have lost six wrestlers since the beginning of the season.
    "It's one thing to be good in the wrestling room, but to see him step up on such a big stage like conference boosts his moral and the team's," Wheelwright said. "It's a boost for us, but when it's all said and done, we're not done yet.
    "It's far from over. Our goal is beyond this."
    Tyler Ramirez was the first of two champions for Madill on Saturday. The freshman controlled his match at 113 pounds, winning 11-4 over Danniel Monroe of Harrah.
    Sotero Trevino was also in control, pushing his unbeaten record to 29-0 with a win at 220. At 160, Luke Chapman lost a close bout to Martel.
    "We're a new team," Ramirez said. "Our coach has built our program. We've had a good season for a mostly first-year team."
    Sulphur, Davis and Ardmore each had a champion apiece. Keagan Davidson of Sulphur defeted Rustin Duke of Plainview 5-4 at 145 pounds, Braden Ruth of Davis was a winner at 285 over Cody Batts of Pauls Valley, and Clay Atwood of Ardmore held on for a 2-0 win over Dakota Boxwell of Noble.
    Page 2 of 2 - According to Sulphur coach Drew Swartz, Davidson didn't make weight at his usual 138, but was good enough to pull out the win at 145.
    "He's wrestling tough right now," Swartz said. "We had to bump up and I thought he wrestled really well for being up a weight class."
    Atencio, Atwood and Ramirez were three freshman winners on Saturday, with Atwood having arguably the toughest match of the three.
    Atwood toughed it out against Boxwell, who bumped down from 182 and had a significant size advantage. But Atwood held him off, finally scoring a takedown in the second period for the winning points.
    "That was my only concern," Ardmore coach Richard Dabbs said of the size difference. "But Clay wrestled well. That kid was a returning state qualifier. Clay had a good tournament. He beat two good kids back to back."
    Trevino pinned Jonathan Pineda of Pauls Valley in 2:18, and Ruth defeated Batts 3-0. Ruth scored falls in his first two matches of the tournament before rolling through the semifinals and final by a combined 10-0 score.
    Trevino beat Hunter Jones 9-2 in the quarterfinals, then posted consective falls in the semifinals and final Saturday.
    Zac Atencio was voted Most Outstanding Wrestler in the lower weights by the coaches. Danny Lamb (182) was the Most Outstanding Wrestler in the heavier weights.
    Erik K. Horne
    221-6522
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