By Tamas Mondovics
The season did not start quite as expected by Cougars Head Coach Dennis Kitko. Of course, that was then. Now the Durant High School wrestling program is celebrating its recent district championship win.But, for some members of the talented squad, who took part in some additional competitions, the district title is not the only success to be proud of. Five members of the Thundercats Wrestling Club had a rare opportunity to represent their teammates during the Games of Rome Wrestling Tournament held at Osceola Heritage Park, in Kissimmee, last month. The event was Part of the Rocky Mountain Nationals series and a chance for the boys to compete at a national level tournament. With Thundercats President and Coach Drake Millard at the helm, the club took five athletes to the competition and came home with great results, including two first place wins. Best friends since they were five years old, Matthew Millard, weighing in at 140 lbs., and Keith Watford, weighing in at 135, both freshmen at Durant and members of the Cougars varsity wrestling team, placed first in their weight classes.Feeling good about his performance, Watford, who won all three of his matches by pins and currently has a 7-4 all pins record with the Cougars, gives credit to his school and his club for the results. “I felt that I was wrestling pretty strong during the tournament and I am doing better on reversals and escapes,” he said. “Being on the Thundercats year-round helps me compete at all of these events.” Teammates Cody Craven (160) and Bobby Richardson (125) both placed third, while Quinton Rogers (119) placed sixth. Millard spoke highly of his boys as they represented the club during the tournament, drawing attention to more than just his wrestlers’ physical abilities and skills on the mat.“These boys demonstrate a good attitude and bring a lot of experience to each match,” Millard said.The Thundercats meet every Tuesday and Thursday at Durant High School from 5 – 7 p.m.For more information about the Thundercats Wrestling Club, please visit www.thundercatwc.com.