The Duncan Banner
This season, the Comanche Indians wrestling team is taking the phrase “Blood, sweat and tears” to a whole new level.
Well, at least the sweat part anyway.
In the confines of their brand new practice facility on the campus of Comanche High School, head coach Jason Miller and his team are trying to duplicate the success of last season, all the while in 80-plus degree heat.
“I’m glad we’ve got the team that we have right now,” senior JonWayne Townsend said. “We don’t have a full lineup right now, but there’s some hungry guys in some weight classes. As long as everyone stays hungry and works hard then we’re going to be successful.”
Success isn’t the only thing Townsend is hungry for this season, he’s trying to make history.
Should he capture an individual state championship this season at 132 pounds, Townsend would become the first three-time state champion in Comanche wrestling history.
“I’ve been on top twice and people are going to be coming after me,” Townsend said about winning a third state title. “There’s a lot of pressure I have on me. No one has ever won three state titles, and hopefully I can become the first one. I view pressure as a privilege and I’m going to do my best to take advantage of every situation.”
Comanche got its season started earlier this week in a triangular against Vernon, Texas and Elgin.
After sweeping aside the Lions with relative ease, the Owls took advantage of forfeits and managed to pull out the victory over the Indians in the final dual of the evening.
“Vernon doesn’t have a lot of talent, and that’s no disrespect to them,” Miller said. “Their coach didn’t even want to wrestle our starters. Elgin provided us with some trouble. We were missing three state qualifiers and the forfeits hurt us. If one of our state qualifiers would have been able to go, we might have been able to win.”
There are plenty of spots to fill following the graduation of two-time state champion and 2012 Duncan Banner Wrestler of the Year Garrison McCauley, and state qualifier David Turner.
“Senior Ricky Kelly is a three-time state qualifier at 120 pounds, but he’s out injured right now and there’s no timetable for his return,” Miller said. “Riley Johnson is another returning state qualifier and we expect something out of him at 126 pounds. Shayne Revels is back for his senior year, and he’ll be able to perform for us as well.”
A new face will also be embracing the Indian fans this season, as sophomore Wyatt Schoolfield will join the CHS wrestling team after moving in from Colorado.
“I got his (Wyatt’s) record from last season as a freshman,” Miller said. “He went 29-1 as a freshman and placed in every high school tournament in Colorado. I don’t have any idea how competitive it is there, but he’s got plenty of experience and mat time. He’ll start out at 145 pounds but could move down to 138 pounds.”
Comanche will be back in action on Dec. 7-8 at the Deer Creek tournament, before a dual against Duncan on the road on Dec. 13.