While the Poteau Pirates wrestling team is the host team for the 2012 Maverick Conference Tournament, the Pirates won't be at Sherman Floyd Fieldhouse.
This year's tournament will be today and Saturday at Carl Albert State College's Mick Thompson Fieldhouse. Action on both days will begin at noon, with the finals slated to start anywhere from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Although CASC will be the site for the two-day event, second-year Poteau Coach Chris Barbee is glad to be the host team.
“I couldn't be more happy than to just drive down the street to go to the tournament,” he said. “It's going to be good for everybody. We're going to get to sleep in our own beds. We have a lot of preparations to undertake before the tournament starts, but I think we can do it — and do a real good job in hosting it. We have a lot of knowledgeable people around here on wrestling.”
Not only will the Pirates be in it, so, too, will the Talihina Golden Tigers — who have only wrestled once in LeFlore County, which was last month's dual at Sherman Floyd Fieldhouse against Poteau.
Thus, both teams are using this weekend's tournament as a way to be home for the wrestlers' families and friends.
“It's going to be a real good treat for us to come watch,” Barbee said. “The kids have been working really hard, and we've been having some good results. All the credit goes to the kids for working hard. They're doing what we asked of them.”
“We're excited about it being so close.” Talihina Coach Jon Bradberry said. “We've been having to go so far away to get duals and tournaments. The kids are excited about it (being at Mick Thompson Fieldhouse) because it will give their friends and parents a chance to come out and see them.”
As for the tournament itself, both coaches believe their athletes will do well this weekend.
“I think we stack up pretty good with the teams who will be here,” Barbee said. “We've wrestled some of them already. The perennial favorites coming into this year's tournament are Sallisaw and Vian. We wrestle those guys all the time. It's nothing new to us. I'm looking for good things from us. This is the time in which we need to be peaking, and start wrestling our best.”
“I think we're going to be competitive at some weights,” Bradberry said. “We've been getting better, and we're just looking forward to the opportunity to compete.”