Cox Leads Cowboys to Gillette
It's not everyday that a collegiate student-athlete gets to compete in his old high school. University of Wyoming junior Tyler Cox will get to enjoy that moment Sunday, when the Wyoming Cowboys wrestle the South Dakota Jackrabbits in Gillette.
The match is slated for a 2 p.m. start at the Campbell Country High School North Campus gymnasium, affectionately known as the Castle of Champions.
Cox was a four-time 4A state champion in his prep career with the Camels. He said, "I never thought that I'd get to wrestle back in my home gym. It's a good opportunity for me to get back in front of my home crowd and the home vibe, and give them one last hurrah."
UW Coach Mark Branch understands what Tyler Cox is going through, saying, "Last year when we wrestled at Oklahoma, I took my whole team to my old high school, my old wrestling room, my gym, and it was a special experience for me as an adult. I know what it means to them, so I know Tyler's looking forward to this."
Wyoming (1-5) starts action in the Western Wrestling Conference with this dual. The Cowboys seek their first win since their opening dual at Boise State back in November. The Pokes line-up features three ranked wrestlers including Cox, who is rated as high as 8th at 125 pounds. Also, junior Dakota Friesth is ranked 18th at 165 and redshirt freshman Benjamin Stroh is 15th at 184. As a team, they are ranked 23rd in the D1CollegeWrestling.net dual/tournament poll this week.
South Dakota State (1-3) features only one ranked wrestler in 157-pounder Cody Pack, who is 18th.
This match in Gillette is part of an out-reach effort by University of Wyoming athletics. It's been set for almost a year, so Cox has known he'll get a chance to go home.
Branch said he teased Tyler Cox earlier this week, and the team got a kick out of it. "I told them our game-plan for this weekend. When we're going to go up there, and when we're going to arrive at the "Cox" gymnasium. We're going to be on him a little bit, but he's going to be excited to show us around, walk around his old digs, and be a leader on this trip."
The Cowboys are 14-0 against the Jackrabbits since 1954.
In other UW action this weekend, the out-reach also includes the Wyoming-Colorado State track dual Saturday in Gillette. The UW swimming and diving teams return to competition for the first time in nearly two months with a dual at Denver. That is set for Noon on Saturday. Finally, the Cowgirl tennis team has their first two duals of the spring in Lubbock, Texas. They face Texas Tech on Saturday and Texas State on Sunday.