Ada — The final week of January figures to be a critical one for the young Ada High wrestling team.
Kyle Bohannon’s squad has won just two of its six duals so far this season, but the Cougars could even their record with home victories over Shawnee Tuesday and McLoud Thursday. Ada will then continue its demanding tournament schedule at Coweta Friday and Saturday.
“We’re a young team and we’re improving every time we go out on the mat,” Bohannon said Saturday morning during weigh-ins for the second day of the Carl Albert Tournament. “We’re making strides, and that’s what I want to see. We don’t have to peak until we get to the regional tournament in February.”
Bohannon said the Cougars — fifth out of 15 teams at the recent McAlester Tournament and eighth of 16 at the rugged Bristow Tournament earlier in the season — have been hurt by empty spots in some weight classes in their duals so far. He added, though, that he has found a solid quartet of team leaders in senior Chase Cummins and juniors Jamie Copeland, Jake Todd and Michael Dickerson.
“Chase is our only senior, and we’re filling most of the spots,” Bohannon explained. “It helps tremdously when you’re not forfeiting four or five matches at a dual. We’re still forfeiting at least two spots, but we’ve got a few guys who have been banged up and we’re hoping to get them healthy in the next couple of weeks.”
Todd (who wrestles at 125 pounds) and Dickerson (at 215) both won their weight classes at McAlester, and Dickerson was third with Todd fourth at Bristow. Copeland, who normally wrestles at 103 pounds, stepped up a weight class to 112 and finished second at Bristow, and Cummins (140) was second at McAlester.
“Our ultimate goal is to get guys where they need to be and wrestling at their best when we get to regionals,” Bohannon noted. “We’ve got sophomores who are in the lineup getting some matches in and winning matches for us, and we have some juniors who are winning key matches and keeping us alive in duals.”
Tuesday’s dual with Shawnee will begin with junior high matches at 6 p.m., and Thursday’s dual will start at 5 p.m. Both will be held at the Ada Junior High West Gym.