Northwest College’s wrestling team traveled to Miami, Oklahoma, last week, splitting a pair of duals at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M on Friday.
The first dual came against Labette Community College, where the Trappers won 37-10. The second was against hosting Northeastern Oklahoma — the No. 2-ranked team in the nation — where the Trappers lost 47-4.
In the first dual of the evening against Labette Community College, NWC head coach Jim Zeigler said “the kids wrestled pretty good.”
Trapper winners were 125-pound Nodir Safarov, Taylor Jeffries at 133 pounds, Nic Urbach at 149 pounds, 157-pound Tate Allison, Logan Soundrup at 165 pounds, Chayce Loveless at 184 pounds, Jeff Oakes at 197 pounds and Lisiate Anau at 285 pounds.
NWC only had one loss, 141-pound Palmer Schafer, and a forfeiture at 174 pounds.
Next up was Northeastern Oklahoma College, which has six nationally ranked wrestlers among the 10 weight classes.
That dual was described by Zeigler as a wake up for everybody.
“They’re good,” the coach said of Northeastern Oklahoma. “They were just so aggressive, they just took it to us.”
The Norsemen beat the Trappers 47-4.
NWC’s four points came from a 17-6 major decision win by Nodir Safarov (ranked No. 2) over Boo Dryden (No. 6) in the 125-pound weight class.
“Nodir had a great win,” Zeigler said.
No. 7-ranked Jeffries lost by a 14-4 major decision to No. 4 Jack Karstetter. Zeigler said Jeffries wrestled OK, but made a couple mistakes that switched the momentum away from his favor.
Zeigler said Jeff Oakes wrestled a little flat in his loss, an 11-6 decision to No. 7 Gus Boyd. Oakes was ranked No. 7. Zeigler described the rest of his team as being unprepared mentally.
“They weren’t prepared when they walked out there to compete with the level NEO is ready to compete at,” the coach said, adding, “There’s no excuses. They are just a better team than we are, they came out more prepared — better, they were better coached, better prepared, more intense, more ready and wrestled harder and wanted to win more and it showed in every match but one.”
However, when faced with adversity — or in this case suffering a difficult loss — lessons can be learned.
“I think it was a good wake up for them,” Zeigler said. “It seemed to wake them up that what they are doing isn’t enough. ... Sometimes getting better comes from painful lessons and that was a painful lesson. It was painful to watch and painful to experience; a 47-4 loss is painful.”
The Trapper wrestlers are off for the Christmas break and will resume action on Jan. 12 in Kearney, Nebraska.