By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Cherokee High School hosted the annual Chief Osley B. Saunooke Memorial Invitational wrestling tournament at the Charles George Memorial Arena on Saturday, Jan. 14. The tournament, which drew 16 schools from three states, had been postponed from the week before due to inclement weather.
Anthony Toineeta, a senior who is the defending state champion, led the Braves with a win in the 160lb division. He won all of his matches on the day by fall (pinning his opponent). In the quarterfinals, Toineeta pinned Cody Long (Swain Co.), and he went on to pin Ben Pitrolo (Asheville) in the semifinals. Then, in the finals, he pinned Connor Good (McDowell) to take the tournament championship – his second in a row.
Other Cherokee wrestlers placing included:
- Seth Sneed, 126lb., third place
- Quarterfinals – won by fall over Hunter Hughes (Hayesville)
- Semifinals – lost in decision (10-3) to Carson Frizzell (Pisgah)
- Semis – won by major decision (14-0) over Nick Ragusa (Walhalla)
- Jesse Queen, 138lb., second place
- Quarterfinals – won by fall over Ralph Pelletier (Hayesville)
- Semifinals – won by decision (12-6) over Gage Wiley (Murphy)
- Finals – lost by major decision (13-4) to Chandler Winebarger (Pisgah)
- Lucas Woodard, 170lb., third place
- Quarterfinals – won by forfeit
- Semifinals – lost by major decision (11-3) to Aaron Buchanon (McDowell)
- Semis – won by fall over Tyler Swanger (Hayesville)
The following teams competed in the event: Cherokee, Asheville, Swain Co., Christ School, East Henderson, Franklin, Hayesville, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Mountain Heritage, Murphy, Pisgah, Rosman, Science Hill (Tenn.), and Walhalla (SC).
The winners in each weight division are as follows:
106: Zachary Morrow (Madison)
113: Austin Dover (Mtn. Heritage)
120: Zach Davis (Madison)
126: Toney McGree (McDowell)
132: Cody Gibson (Walhalla)
138: Chandler Winebarger (Pisgah)
145: Josey Ward (Pisgah)
152: Chris Miller (Swain Co.)
160: Anthony Toineeta (Cherokee)
170: Cody Swangim (Rosman)
182: Garrett Sanders (Franklin)
195: Cory Farmer (Murphy)
220: Luis Herrera (McDowell)
285: Corbin Wildcatt (Swain Co.)