WRESTLING: Braves place at Chief Osley B. Saunooke tournament

by Jan 6, 2019SPORTS di-ne-lv-di-yi

Cherokee High School wrestlers McClay Phillips (left) and Dakota Siweumptewa (second from right) both took second place in their respective divisions at the annual Chief Osley B. Saunooke Memorial Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 5 at the Charles George Memorial Arena. They are shown with Junior Miss Cherokee Destiny Siweumptewa, who handed out the awards during the tournament, and CHS head wrestling coach Tavi Rivera. (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather)





Two members of the Cherokee Braves varsity wrestling team placed in the annual Chief Osley B. Saunooke Memorial Tournament held at the Charles George Memorial Arena on Saturday, Jan. 5.  McClay Phillips took second place in the 120lb division and Dakota Siweumptewa took second in the 132lb division.  

“I think my team continues to grow and they show me with their improvement every time they wrestle,” said Tavi Rivera, Braves head wrestling coach.  “This is a very demanding sport, and when it comes to wrestling, it’s all about heart, endurance, and what position you want to put yourself in.  I’m very proud of my guys.”

He has high hopes that members of this year’s team will qualify for state, a feat that has become a staple of the program.  “If we make it to state again this year, it will be the fourteenth year in a row we’ve had state qualifiers or a state champion.  I’m very proud of these guys, and I can’t wait to see what we do in the rest of the season.”  

Siweumptewa, a sophomore who has been wrestling for seven years, commented, “It’s a pretty tough tournament.  There’s a lot of good kids here wrestling.  The more you wrestle, the more you learn.” 

He said that experience and learning on the mat is important to developing in the sport.  “Learn more and practice harder every day and try to do your best 100 percent every day.” 

Phillips, a senior who has been wrestling for 10 years, said, “I think I could have wrestled a little bit better…it’s a big tournament, and I’m glad that we had the turnout that we did.  I think second place is good for the turnout that we had.” 

Wrestlers from 14 teams participated in Saturday’s tournament hosted by Cherokee High School.  Pigeon Forge (Tenn.) took the team title with 119.5 points followed by Swain County, a team which contained several members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, with 112.5 points, and Mitchell in third place with 106 points.  

Top finishers in each weight division are as follows: 

106: 1st – Dakota Tehandon (Mitchell); 2nd – Samuel Klepac (AC Reynolds); 3rd – Kevin Cook (Hayesville); 4th – Collier Foster (Polk County)

113: 1st – Colton Poole (Pigeon Forge); 2nd – Keith Cook (Hayesville); 3rd – Will Cole (Rosman); 4th – Brendone Christie (East Henderson)

120: 1st – Dylon Lowry (Mitchell); 2nd – McClay Phillips (Cherokee); 3rd – Sam Green (Swain County); 4th – Cade Vaughn (Andrews)

126: 1st – Hunter Dover (Chase); 2nd – Nate Brock (Swain County); 3rd – Josh Parton (Pigeon Forge); 4th – Preston Burnett (Polk County)

132: 1st – Garret Foremen (Pigeon Forge); 2nd – Dakota Siweumptewa (Cherokee); 3rd – Jason Smith (Mitchell); 4th – Brennan Worthington (Polk County)

138: 1st – CJ Dyer (Pigeon Forge); 2nd – Jonas Trejo (Swain County); 3rd – Tucker Marshall (East Henderson); 4th – Trevor Guild (Union County)

145: 1st – Colby Dalon (Pigeon Forge); 2nd – Taylor Thorn (East Rutherford); 3rd – Lucas Brown (Swain County); 4th – Israel Maltba (Mitchell)

152: 1st – Tyler Morgan (AC Reynolds); 2nd – Andrew Baiamonte (Pigeon Forge); 3rd – Hunter Craig (Swain County); 4th – Michael Little (Mountain Heritage)

160: 1st – Calvin Jones (East Rutherford); 2nd – Nathaniel Hughes (Mountain Heritage); 3rd – Zane Ramey (Rosman); 4th – Damian Lossiah (Swain County)

170: 1st – Max Pirez (AC Reynolds); 2nd – Terry Thompson (Polk County); 3rd – Sean Phillips (Union County); 4th – Cameron Holley (East Rutherford)

182: 1st – Ryan Richerdson (Mitchell); 2nd – Jesse Sutphin (East Rutherford); 3rd – Austin Andrews (AC Reynolds); 4th – Cody Long (Swain County)

195: 1st – Grayson Parker (East Henderson); 2nd – Clyde Ponchot (Swain County); 3rd – John Roberts (AC Reynolds); 4th – Randy Stuart (East Rutherford)

220: 1st – Sean Sprague (East Henderson); 2nd – Dalton Hollifield (Mountain Heritage); 3rd – Jacob McCarter (Pigeon Forge); 4th – Bo Thompson (AC Reynolds)

285: 1st – Hudson Boone (Mitchell); 2nd – Noland Brown (Swain County); 3rd – Troy Allison (East Henderson); 4th – Sammy Christensen (Andrews)

Team Scores: 

1st – Pigeon Forge 119.5

2nd – Swain County 112.5

3rd – Mitchell 106

4th – AC Reynolds 98

5th – Mountain Heritage 75.5

6th – East Rutherford 75

7th – East Henderson 71

8th – Union County 48

9th – Rosman 34

10th – Polk County 31

11th – Chase 29

12th – Cherokee 19

13th – Hayesville 18

14th – Andrews 11

To view or purchase photos from this event visit: https://onefeather.smugmug.com/SPORTS/WRESTLING/Chief-Osley-B-Saunooke-Tournament-January-5-2019/