HALTOM CITY – Even as the Coppell girls wrestling team piled up the points at the Region I-6A Tournament, head coach Ted Witulski didn’t know that his Cowgirls were in the lead in the team standings.
That’s because Witulski was focused on the success of each of the 10 Cowgirls that competed in the two-day event at W.G. Thomas Coliseum. He was trying to prepare each of them the best he could for their next match and qualify as many individuals as possible for the state tournament.
But he was in for a pleasant surprise during a random conversation Saturday afternoon.
“I didn’t know that we won until somebody told me out in the hallway,” Witulski said. “I don’t really look at team points. We tied at districts. That hurt a little bit. We like to come out on top. We’re a feisty bunch.”
Coppell proved to be a feisty bunch. The Cowgirls qualified five wrestlers for the Class 6A state tournament this week in Cypress, crowning one regional champion in the process. Senior Scout Carrell was named the most outstanding female wrestler after capturing first place at 132 pounds. She won the first-place match by a 5-2 decision over Arlington Martin’s Jania Dunigan and she’s now 34-1 on the season.
“She’s tough,” Witulski said of Carrell.
Carrell’s sister, sophomore Piper Carrell, played a key role in Coppell accruing 141 team points. Piper will join Scout in Cypress later this week after she finished as the runner-up at 107 pounds. Julie Rodriguez lost just one match in the 152-pound weight division to finish in third place and earn a state qualification. Annie Reeder was another key contributor for Coppell. She took fourth at 100 pounds, which included two wins over Boswell’s Alana Lee, who was the state runner-up at 95 pounds last season. Jessica Mendez-Gil punched her ticket to state with a pin in the fourth-place match at 138 pounds.
“It’s pretty unexpected,” Witulski said. “We don’t have a team with a bunch of girls that have been wrestling together since they were young. Every one of these girls started in either the eighth or ninth grade. They’re competing against a lot of club girls that are on team that have been wrestling for a long time. Ten out of 10 girls won a match here. We had a lot of pins that scored extra points for us. It was pretty exciting.”
Overall, Coppell advanced seven wrestlers to the state tournament.
On the boys’ side, senior Isaiah Francis became Coppell’s second regional champion after he defeated Arlington Martin’s Ryan Rainey 2-1 in double overtime of the 190-pound first-place match. Francis will take a 35-4 record to state. Cooper Johnson is headed to Cypress after he earned fourth place at 215 pounds.
Little Elm junior Emily Pedro will take a perfect 27-0 record into the state tournament after she dominated her way to a first-place finish at 126 pounds. She recorded an 11-1 major decision of El Paso Eastwood’s Alexandra Beltran in the quarterfinals before recording back-to-back pins of Eastlake’s Alexis Navarrette in the semifinals and El Paso Pebble Hills’ Isabella Martinez in the first-place match.
Pedro’s teammate, Brandon Kirk, also qualified for state after finishing in third place in the 138-pound weight division at the regional tournament.
Last weekend marked a historic occasion for Lewisville senior Ileah Brown. Brown became the first Farmer wrestler in program history to win 100 matches. She has a chance to add to that win total at the state tournament after she earned second place at 114 pounds.
Brown is one of two state qualifiers for Lewisville. Kalandria Carter captured fourth place at 235 pounds, finishing with four wins on the weekend to improve to 29-10 on the season.
Flower Mound will have plenty of representation in Cypress. The Jaguars qualified five wrestlers for the state tournament, four on the girls’ side. Junior Lillian Zepata took third place in the 100-pound weight division. She seeks a second straight trip to the medal stand after placing fourth in Class 6A at 95 pounds last year. Isabella Dasilva wrestled to third at 114 and Gwendolyn Musser topped 50 wins this season after she won four straight matches at the regional on her way to earn fourth at 132. Siddie Hoffman placed fourth at 165 pounds. On the boys’ side, Rex Armstrong is bound for state after he took fourth place at 138 pounds.
Hebron’s Gonzalo Montes punched his ticket for state after he won a challenge match over South Grand Prairie’s Lanson Wood, which earned him fourth place at 285 pounds.
Marcus will also have a representative in Cypress. Kazuma Crull won four matches during the two-day tournament – three by pin – to earn fourth place at 175 pounds.
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