Several Millers retired helmets for singlets and made their debut on the wrestling mat Thursday night.
Yukon hosted its annual red and white inter-squad match in preparation for the start of the regular season. For many former football players this was their first time to see competition in the preseason.
“(I really liked) getting those football guys out there and having to get some mat time,” coach Joe Schneider said. “I kind of wish they would have been pushed a little more but, it’s okay. We’re all learning, we’re all getting better. That matters.”
The white team out-ranked the red team when the final match reached its end. A 54-30 deficit was too much to overcome for the red team.
Zach Butcher and Peyton Williams kicked off the evening with a 5-3 final score, Butcher winning.
Yukon’s lone female wrestler, Vallerie Vallejo, lost her match with Carlos Duran 3-2.
Despite it being their first matches, football players Landon Donoho and Corbin Gordon showed no signs of rust.
Donoho faced Blake Nail in a 10-3 drubbing at the 182 pound classification. At 220 pounds, Gordon edged Nathan Hopkins 6-2.
“I was glad to see some of those football guys getting in there, Corbin Gordon and Landon Donoho, get those guys their first roll around,” Schneider said.
The white team had six pins to the red’s four, adding up to 10 total pins for the Millers on the night.
Though he saw many positives from his team, Schneider says he didn’t have a specific point of emphasis from his team.
“(I wasn’t looking for) one particular thing,” he said. “I told a lot of them to start finding their groove. A lot of guys have different things. Some guy may be better on his feet, some guy may be better on top.”
Moving forward, Schneider would like Gordon and Donoho to figure out what works best for them.
“I saw Corbin Gordon’s working on getting that arm in the back and getting things going,” he said. “Landon Donoho’s working some offense from under hooks so now we’re just going to get in there and work a little more with what the offense is for that.”
Scrimmaging teammate against teammate can provide negatives and positives. The Millers focused on the positives in the red and white match.
“The guys were working hard on some stuff we’ve been practicing in the room, so I saw some good things there,” Schneider said. “Putting the arm in the back, that’s one of the situations we continue to work on. We had some guys work the cradles, that’s something we fight for offense.
“At the same time, we had guys breaking out of cradles, which was really good. On both sides we’re beating ourselves but, really, we learn. That’s our major thing in preseason.”
Wrestling newcomers will get more repetitions in two more matches before the start of the regular season. Yukon will head to Midwest City Nov. 17 for their next match.