Yukon wrestling wrapped up their second straight successful outing, taking runners-up at the Fayetteville Tournament.
Coming off an 84-0 demolition of Bethel, the Millers took to Arkansas in attempt to prove what they were worth. Though it was in the neighboring state, several Oklahoma teams such as Ft. Gibson, Enid, and Talequah made the trip.
The tournament came at a prime opportunity after Yukon started the season by losing three out of five duals. Getting the time to bond with one another is something they missed in the cancelled Perry Tournament.
“We needed to get away and do something different,” coach Joe Schneider said. “Our team really needed this tournament to come together, ride the bus, hang out in the hotel, and get that team bonding, that team unity.
“I think we definitely needed that heading into the second half of our season.”
Yukon took second place with 393.5 points. Willard took the top spot, racking up 467.5 points. Bentonville, Sullivan, and Ft. Gibson rounded out the top five.
For the Millers to finish ahead of Bentonville, an Arkansas Elite, shows promise.
“I think right now they’re ranked No. 1 in Arkansas, so for us to pull away and beat them, I guess we’re just in the wrong state to get the win,” Schneider said.
Corbin Gordon highlighted the successful trip. At 220 pounds, Gordon took first place.
“He wrestled lights out all the way through and he was beating that guy up pretty well in the finals,” said Schneider.
Kylon Burgert (132) and Wallace Tilley (138) took second place in their respective weight classes.
“They wrestled lights out,” Schneider said. “If we can keep those guys wrestling with that type of confidence and that type of determination, I don’t think anything can stop them.”
Ashton Aldridge placed third in the heavyweight division. In the 106-pound, Cook placed fifth. Bailey took fifth in the 182-pound.
Having the opportunity to get their confidence back was something they’ll take away from Fayetteville.
“I just think, going into the second half of the season, we need to just not put anybody up on a pedestal and just think of ourselves as the top dog,” said Schneider. “When we do that, we go wrestle lights out.”
Not putting teams on a pedestal was easy in Arkansas. Schneider says they’ll need to apply that same logic going forward against the upper class of Oklahoma wrestling.
“I don’t know if it’s looking at who you’re wrestling against or whatnot,” he said. “The thing about coming here, we didn’t know anybody. We didn’t know who they placed, where they placed, any of that. I think it was one of those things, we just need to not worry about who our competition is and just worry about ourselves getting better and improving throughout the matches and improving throughout the tournaments.
“If we can do that, nobody can stop us.”
The Millers head to Jenks for another tournament on Jan. 4.