Moe leads way in successful Santa Slam weekend
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Boys, girls sweep Friday duals to gain momentum for Saturday’s tournament
By Marcus Krum
Executive Sports Editor
Coming into the weekend with an undefeated record this season, Coppell High School junior wrestler KK Moe showed no sign that he would falter in his unblemished record. And on Friday, Dec. 17, he showed why nobody had beaten him yet.
Moe displayed his true dominance in each of his matches in the two duals, pinning his opponent in 30 seconds or less both times. In his second match, he even stepped up a weight class to the heavyweight and pinned the Highland Park wrestler Harrison Hall in a mere 22 seconds.
“It’s good for his confidence,” Coppell coach Chip Lowery said. “He’s got some really solid matches [on Saturday]. He’s got to strap it on and go, but he’s 14-0 with 14 pins (this season) and 12 of them are in the first period. I know you and I don’t want to wrestle him.”
Moe led the way in each of the duals for Coppell, giving the Cowboys their first win against Trinity Christian Academy as they would go on to dominate the Trojans, 52-28, winning the last four matches by pins.
However, the second match for the Cowboys was much more of a fight. After Moe won the first match, Highland Park won the match in the 106 and 120 weight classes, while getting a forfeit in the 113 class. With help from pins by sophomore Nico Yut and junior Noah Bjorkstein, along with forfeits due to Highland Park not having any wrestlers in the weight class, Coppell was able to stage a comeback, winning 39-33 over the Scots.
“These were good schools,” Lowery said. “We did what we needed to do, but we still gave them too many points. The wins, they’re really good wins, but there’s still more we’ve got to do to keep getting better every day.”
On the girls side, Coppell again grabbed victories in both its duals, defeating Sam Houston by only two points. Key pins from freshmen Brooke Massaviol and Alexandra Ransom gave the Cowgirls the slight edge, winning 33-27. Coppell would go on to dominate the Monterey girls team, 36-18, giving them plenty of momentum heading into the second day of the tournament.
“On the girls side, we had some really good wins,” Lowery said. “Sam Houston is a state ranked team every year, and we beat them. Monterey also has a lot of good girls.”
As the wrestling team headed into Saturday’s tournament, dominant performances on both sides on Friday gave the girls and boys side full heads of steam.
“I’m not really that tired,” Moe said of how he felt after Friday’s duals. “I just want to win as early as possible [on Saturday] so I’m not tired later on in the finals.”
Team sees massive improvements, place nine in tournament
By Joseph Krum
As the mats were being rolled up and the fans were filing out, Coppell wrestling coach Chip Lowery had a smile on his face.
The Coppell wrestling team, led by juniors KK Moe and Lindsay McIntosh, just wrapped up a successful Santa Slam tournament at the CHS arena in which the boys team finished fourth out of 14 teams and the girls finished third out of 17.
“Last year in this tournament, the girls had a few placers and the guys had two fourth [place finishers],” Lowery said. “We had a lot more tonight with nine total finishers, so we obviously have improved, and we plan to keep improving as the year goes on.”
Those nine total finishers (wrestlers who place in the top four within their weight class) include five from the boys side and four from the girls. For the boys, senior Palmer Klawiter placed fourth in the 132 pound weight class, sophomore Nico Yut placed third in the 138 pound class, junior Joe Montealegre placed third in the 145 pound weight class, senior MacLean Bowie placed third in the 182 pound weight class and Moe placed second in the 220 pound weight class.
The Coppell girls had sophomore Madeline Rocha finish third in the 110 pound weight class, junior Allie Baudhuin finish second in the 128 pound weight class, McIntosh finish first in the 165 pound weight class and junior Amanda Duvaul finish third in the 215 pound weight class.
With 17 total teams that bring along parents and fans alike, the stands in the CHS arena were packed. Each weight class in the tournament was also packed with potential state-qualifying wrestlers.
“I had an awesome time competing against these guys, this is definitely one of the hardest tournaments we’ll go to all year,” said senior Kyle Cloutier, who was in the 152 pound weight class and wrestled Emmanuel Emere from Houston Westside. “It’s nice to wrestle against some different guys once in awhile, and it was a great atmosphere here. It was definitely a tournament I’ll remember.”
Although it was considered a successful meet for Coppell, there are some things that this team will work on heading into the bulk of their season.
“We need to improve our cardio, but that’s by design,” Lowery said. “We don’t need to be the most in-shape team in December. We would risk burning out our wrestlers if we worked cardio this early. But starting in January we will start working on our cardio so we can be at full strength heading into district season.”
Cardio aside, this team drastically improved from last year’s tenth place boys finish and fifth place girls finish. But further than that, Lowery thinks that this tournament can show Coppell more than just the potential they have.
“This tournament, although we may not see these teams in the regular season again, we could see some of these wrestlers in the state tournament,” Lowery said. “If teams like [Houston] Westside and The Woodlands have wrestlers that place here, there is a good chance that they could be in the state tournament and we could see them again too.”