The Cookeville Cavalier wrestling team came to Warren County Tuesday night ranked as one of the top 25 teams in the state. The Pioneers found out why in a hurry.
Cookeville won 11 of the 12 matches to crush Warren County 66-6 in the meet held at Charlie Dalton Gym. The loss dropped the Pioneers to 2-4 overall this season.
Tucker Slatton saved the Pioneers from being swept by the Cavaliers as he won by pinfall in the final match.
Cookeville’s skill on the mat was evident early as even the more seasoned Pioneers couldn’t find a way to win against the Cavaliers.
Junior Ethan Turner started the event with a loss in the heavyweight division, getting pinned for only the second time this season.
It started a trend of the Pioneers losing by pinfall at an alarming rate. Warren County standouts Ray Bishop, Christian Taylor and Bailey Briest couldn’t stay off the mat and frustration continued to build.
Briest, who came into Tuesday’s match with an undefeated record, flung his headgear at the bench following a loss in the 138-point weight division.
Sophomore Christian Lopez tried to snap the Pioneer skid at 112 pounds, but the third-round match turned at the end. After leading in points most of the way, Lopez was taken down in the final round and couldn’t get back up to earn a point. That point proved to be the difference as Lopez lost 4-3.
Slatton was the last Pioneer to wrestle and he stepped on the mat with his team trailing 66-0. After seeing all his teammates try and fail, Slatton worked to a second-round pinfall victory and kept the Pioneers from being skunked.
After the victory, teammates stormed Slatton while the junior raised his hands in relief.
The Pioneers traveled to Tullahoma last night hoping to get back to their winning ways. Results were unavailable at press time.
Warren County will return to action tomorrow in the Pioneer Invitational tournament at Charlie Dalton Gym.