Tigers go perfect 6-0 in conference for second straight year

It was a special night at Versailles.

The Tigers held their Matwarming and Senior Night ceremonies Tuesday night while taking on Osage and Fatima and a second straight season of running through the Tri-County Conference unbeaten for another conference crown was simply icing on the cake.

Versailles took down Osage 46-23 in the first dual of the night to seal the conference title and took down Fatima 60-22 to wrap things up.

“It is kind of special being your last home dual and it is our last dual ever that we’ll have so that is pretty neat and then we are conference champs to top it off three out of four years in high school,” said Versailles senior Kooper Wilson who finished the night unbeaten with two pins. “Not bad at all.”

Wilson also went from Matwarming Prince to Matwarming King and said it will be up to his little brother to take the reigns in a fun family rivalry with the Vogt family.

“Our family and the Vogts have been going at it to see which family ends up with the most crowns and it is tied up right now so hopefully little brother can keep it going,” Wilson pointed out with a smile.

It was also Senior Night for Walker Schotte and he made the most of it, picking up a forfeit and pinning his last opponent in just 49 seconds to help the Tigers pick up the sweep.

“It is pretty neat. We’ve been conference champs for two years in a row now so we were kind of expecting it this year, but it was a good night,” he stated.

Versailles coach Shawn Brantley was certainly proud of his senior duo for their efforts Tuesday night and efforts over the years. The other grapplers performed pretty well too.

“What can you say about ‘Koop?’ He is a three-time state qualifier, state medalist and has 100 wins,” Brantley said. “If he does not get hurt in football his sophomore year, he probably owns every school record there is. Walker came out a little later and has been a nice addition. He has filled in very well for us and kind of made a name for himself his senior year so we are glad to have him.

“We wrestled very well tonight and it is probably the best we wrestled in a couple of weeks. We still have some things to clean up, but I’m pretty happy with it overall.”

And for good reason. By the end, the Tigers had just captured their third conference crown in four years. Some of the wrestlers who made that happen have graduated while new grapplers have come in, but Brantley is pleased with the consistency he has seen throughout.

“I don’t want to call it a rebuilding year, but this is a reloading year for us. We have lots of talent, but are not very experienced so it gives us something to build on and kind of hang our hats on this season,” the coach noted. “We had a winning season again, finishing 9-5 and conference champs three out of four years so I’m pretty proud of the guys for pulling it off.”

Versailles has four conference titles overall in the nine years conference titles have been official while Blair Oaks holds claim to the other five.

“We’ve won four and Blair Oaks has won five. A couple of those sting and I don’t like to talk about it,” joked Brantley.

In the first bout of the evening against Osage, Versailles’ Michael Trotter put his team on the scoreboard with a pin in the 182-pound match. Riley Rademan (195), Payton Lafoy (120) and Gage Ward (145) also earned pins while Dallas Waller (152) won a 22-11 major decision and Joseph Shady (285) picked up a forfeit victory.

In the second bout with Fatima, Lafoy (120) earned another pin along with Ward (145) while Trotter (182), Rademan (195), Shady (285), Clayton Coleman (126), Waller (152) and Mason Hibdon (160) all won their matches via forfeit.

Osage has certainly had better nights on the mat, but Coach Randy Satterlee liked what he saw in spite of the illness currently plaguing the team. The Indians may have lost to Versailles, but finished the night with a 42-36 win over Fatima.

“Overall, I think our kids wrestled pretty well. We have a bit of a flu bug going around so several of our kids were not present in our lineup,” he said. “Right now, it is about getting kids healthy and keeping them motivated through these last two weeks of the season.”

And Osage did show some fight Tuesday night.

In the dual with Versailles, Kaleb Dodson (160) got things started with an 18-6 major decision in the 160-pound match. Jesse Schillinger (170) earned a 17-1 technical fall, Kody Dowell (113) defeated his opponent in a 9-0 major decision, Tristan Satterlee (126) won a 14-2 major decision and Steven Crosby (132) picked up a pin.

In the final battle with Fatima, Corey Hubkey (138) picked up a pin for the Indians and Jack Creasy did the same at 145. Meanwhile, Ozuye Johnson (182), Eli Crane (195), Satterlee (126), Connor Arrowood (152) and Dodson (160) all picked up forfeit wins.

“Not to sound self-serving, but Tristan had a great match and is wrestling really well right now and I am happy with Kaleb who has done a great job stepping up and filling in the 160 (pound) slot,” Satterlee pointed out.

The coach said there are a few things to clean up, but the main thing is getting ready for postseason action.

“We need to work on some things on the mat in the down positions,” he said. “For a successful end to the season, we need to get everyone in the right mental framework and work to peak both mentally and physically in February.”

Osage will be back on the mats Saturday morning when the Indians take on the Odessa Tournament at 9 a.m. Versailles will battle in one final tournament at Seneca this weekend before hosting districts on February 9 and 10 for the second straight year. This weekend’s action gets underway Friday night at 5 p.m.

“We’ll get a look at Seneca this weekend and have not seen them anywhere yet. We pretty well know where we stand with everyone else and we’ll have a real good idea after this weekend,” Brantley said. “We have some guys seeding-wise that should qualify for state and some guys right now on that bubble so it will be nice to actually have a couple of weeks off before districts to go in and fine-tune some things and just kind of amp up for it.”

Senior Night was surreal for Wilson and the senior said he would love nothing more than another great home atmosphere for his final wrestling event at Versailles when districts roll around.

“We just have to put in the work and the crowd actually does play a big factor in it. People might not think so, but hopefully we can get as many people here as we can,” he said. “If you get on a roll, it is pretty hard to stop.”