FAYETTEVILLE — Two out-of-state teams made the trek to Fayetteville for the Battle for the Bling girls’ wrestling tournament this weekend and walked away with some hardware Saturday.
Flower Mound, Texas, enjoyed a strong second day to claim the team title with 229 points. Broken Arrow, Okla., took a second with 222 followed by first-day leader Searcy in third with 215.5. Host Fayetteville grabbed fourth with 136 points.
Flower Mound Coach Tiffany Mangini, who is in her eighth season guiding the program in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb, walked away pleased overall with her team’s performance.
“There’s a few things I’m a little disappointed with, things we need to work on,” Mangini said. “It’s a process. But overall, I’m happy. I’m really impressed with my veter- ans. We had some really good matches.”
She found out about the tournament from a coaching friend in Texas a year ago and loved the idea.
“As many times we can get out of the state of Texas and get out of our head because this is like our fun trip,” Mangini said. “It gets us different looks, a different style of wrestling and less pressure.”
Flower Mound had a pair of champions and two second-place finishers this weekend, but it flourished with depth as 10 wrestlers placed among the top five in their weight classes.
Searcy, the back-to-back Class 5A state champion, returns just one state champion but six all-state wrestlers from last year’s team. However, one of the returners was sidelined this weekend with a concussion.
Searcy Coach Jerry Evans said the competition was tough and that’s exactly what his team wanted. Grace Webb (110) and Alena Williams (120) won their respective weight classes. Williams is a defending 5A state champion.
“That’s why we come here,” Evans said. “We fought hard. I’m very satisfied with the product we put on the floor. We’re going to get better as the season goes.”
Evans’ team includes four freshmen in the lineup
“We’re young,” Evans said. “We only have three seniors in the lineup, so we’re a team that’s going to continue to grow, continue to get better and mature.”
The tournament, which included 17 teams from five states and around 150 wrestlers, is in its fourth year and two years as an all-girls event.
Fayetteville Coach Casper Petty said the field could have been larger but four or five teams backed out at the last minute with a myriad of conflicts.
“Overall, the atmosphere was great, having those six mats,” Petty said.
The event included local youth wrestlers, and Petty said he’s hoping to grow the tournament into a regional and even at some point include college wrestlers, Petty said.
“We want to bring in wrestlers from Texas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma for the youth like we are doing with the high school,” Petty said. “My goal is I’d love those college kids to come in and just be in the atmosphere with those high school and youth girls and be able to coach them up. Those girls get to see, ‘Hey, this is what I’m shooting for.’ ”
Fayetteville’s Alissa Castro, a 6A state champion last year, won the 170-pound weight class and was named the Outstanding Wrestler for the upper weights. She pinned her way through to the finals, then defeated Siddie Hoffen of Flower Mound 8-4 in the final.
“The girl she wrestled in the finals was really tough and she transitioned well,” Petty said. “She held her own. They were head to head for a little bit. In the third period, Alissa was able to capitalize and get some swipes and near-fall that put her up by two. At that point, the other girl, she tried to create some other opportunities and we just capitalized on them.”
Article Name:Texas team grabs Bling crown
Tag(s): Girls Varsity