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Cove wrestling finishes 6th in loaded bracket

Special to the Leader-Press

The Bulldawg and Lady Dawg wrestling programs traveled, along with 37 more teams, to Austin for the Capital Classic. Most brackets were filled with multiple state ranked wrestlers from both 5A and 6A. Cove entered the tournament with 4 ranked wrestlers as well. Frankie Limon (#14 – 126), Ryan Bithron (#10 – 170), Michaela Grimm (#18 – 95), and Mya Watson (#14 – 215). This was the first wrestling tournament of the year for Copperas Cove.
The Bulldawgs came in with a goal to finish top 5 against some of the best teams in the state. Frankie Limon, Ryan Bithorn, and Caleb Emberton (220) all finished 3rd in their brackets. Frankie’s only loss came in the quarterfinals against #4-6A ranked Carter Taylor from Vandegrift in overtime. He finished the tournament 5-1. Ryan pinned his way to the semi-finals before his first loss to #1-6A ranked Caleb Sebra from San Antonio Johnson. Every other contest was victory via pinfall including the bronze medal match. He was able to finish the day 4-1. Caleb has a harder route to 3rd place. He lost his first match to the eventual champion #5-5A ranked Grant Clarno from Dripping Springs. He then fought all the way through the consolation bracket with 5 straight wins to capture 3rd place and earn his black singlet. Tristen Bigger also had a great start to the season with a 3-2 record. The Bulldawgs finished 6th out of 38 teams.
The Lady Dawgs made sure they were not outdone by the boys. Three wrestlers were able to make their way to the medal stand with Leeann Edmond (110) and Jennifer Denton (165) getting 4th while Mya Watson was able to go undefeated for gold. Leeann wrestled her way to the semi-finals where she lost to #3-6A ranked Kaylynn Martin. She then pinned district opponent Natasha Hills from Temple before losing in the 3rd place match. Jennifer Denton pinned her first 2 opponents before she met and lost to #3-5A ranked Erika Peterson in the semi-finals. After another pin, Jennifer lost her 3rd place match as well. Both girls ended the tournament 3-2. Mya dominated her bracket and was in the running for Most Outstanding Female Wrestler. In her 3 matches, she won all of them via pinfall including the championship match against #5-6A ranked Deonna Gonzales. None of her matches lasted longer than a minute. She is the first (hopefully of many) wrestler to earn the Copperas Cove Tournament Top Dawg belt for a first-place finish. Janel Golderos added to the team points by finishing her tournament 4-2. The Lady Dawgs finished 6 out of 35 teams.
Overall both programs proved they belong in the conversation of favorites for a District Championship. The Bulldawgs have their first home Tri meet against Ellison and Lampasas on Dec 1st. They follow it up with the Ellison Duals Tournament Dec 4th. The Lady Dawgs will travel with the JV Boys to Ellison for the Invitational Tournament Dec 3rd.

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