Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Allen wrestlers take command early in state tournament
School sends eight wrestlers to semifinals; Flower Mound is third
AUSTIN — Two-time defending state champion Allen rolled to an early lead Friday on the first day of the UIL state wrestling tournament.
The Eagles sent eight wrestlers to the championship-bracket semifinals, including two-time defending champion Nick Cobb.
“For the last two weeks, the guys have been in the room wrestling each other. They were a little rusty in their first matches but all are showing improvement and should be ready by [Saturday],” said Allen coach Jerry Best.
Allen has 76.5 points through the first two rounds. Canyon Randall is second with 37 points. Flower Mound is third with 33.
Cobb was dominant in the 195-pound weight class, pinning Patrick Snelling of McAllen in 2:25 and pinning Howard Huggins of Kimball in 1:54. Cobb faces Arlington Martin’s Steven Candley in Saturday morning’s semifinals.
In the 145-pound weight class, Allen sophomore Bo Nickal had a dramatic match against a strong opponent. Nickal, second last year in the 125-pound class, used an arm drag takedown in the final three seconds of his winners’ bracket match against two-time state finalist Brady Speckles of Flower Mound in a 6-5 victory.
“I looked up, and there was only 20 seconds left, and I was behind. I just wanted it too much to lose,” Nickal said.
Nickal (46-3) faces a tough semifinal opponent in Dalton Caudell of Centennial (43-3), who was the bronze medalist in the 135-pound class in 2011.
D’Andre Brumfield of Lake Highlands improved to 43-1 in the 106-pound class, and Mason Smout of Allen and Thayer Atkins of Lake Highlands advanced in the 113-pound class.
Smout improved to 29-7 and will meet Damion Heard (41-0) of Keller Fossil Ridge. Atkins (54-0) is in the other bracket. Jarrod Trotter of Allen and Ian Ortega of Fossil Ridge square off in the 126-pound semifinals.
Jack Bass (30-0) of Allen meets Nathan Schulman (53-2) of Lake Highlands at 138 pounds, and Devin Vasquez (35-0) of El Paso Eastwood faces Dominic Yang (26-1) of South Grand Prairie in the other bracket.
Oliver Pierce of Allen reached the 152-pound semifinals with wins of 23-7 and 19-3. He will face Nathan Harrison of Cedar Park Vista Ridge. Drake Dudley of Flower Mound advanced to the 160-pound semifinals. Matt Meyer of Allen won twice to advance to the 170-pound class.
Two-time champion Greg Wilson of Keller Central won his state-record-setting 175th straight match. The Central standout is 59-0 this season and is on track for a rematch with Frisco’s Ashton Harris (55-3) in the 182-pound class.
“I remind Greg that every opponent at this level is very good, must be respected and not underestimated,” said Keller coach and Greg’s father Bill Wilson.
Stone Druhlman advanced to the 220-pound semifinals as did Donovan Kleckner of Colleyville Heritage. Sam Rice of Coppell advanced in the 285-pound class.
In girl’s competition, Bushland is leading eight-time champion Amarillo Caprock, 31-30, with 2011 runner-up Katy Morton Ranch third with 28 points. Bri Lowe of Keller and Haley Moreno of Saginaw advanced in the 102-pound weight class
Other local female wrestlers in the semifinals include: Christine Bautista of Colleyville Heritage at 110 pounds, Avery Souders of Coppell at 128 pounds and Kennon Henderson of Centennial at 128 pounds.