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    Lane Self competes in the first round of the State Horseshoe Tournament Saturday at Love Street Park in Weatherford. Photo/Brian Smith

Perrin wins State Horseshoe title

There’s nothing better than coming out on top.

Perrin-Whitt knows the feeling, as a group of high school students came in to Love Street Park here Saturday with few expectations except to have a good time. That they did as the Pirate team not only won the first ever State High School Horseshoes Tournament, sponsored by the Weatherford Noon Lions Club,  but had the individual champion in sophomore Tyler Welch.

Six teams participated in the event with teams from as far away as Knox City. The Perrin team, comprised of Welch, Jake Holmes, Lane Self, Colby Burwell and alternate Wyatt Keeney, were loose,  but focused the entire tournament.

“I’m just super proud of the guys,” Advisor Jesse Laine explained.

Perrin had three place in the final eight with Burwell finishing fifth and Self winding up 8th. Burwell and Keeney had a spirited discussion while warming up on how Keeney ended up being the alternate.

“We couldn’t decide so we ended up having a game of rock, paper, scissors,” Burwell said.

The guys candidly discussed how all of this came about. Laine had heard that the competition was going on, got a team recruited and began practicing a few weeks ago.

The boys admitted it had been a few years since they had thrown shoes but appeared ready to go.

“We have gotten so much better over the last 72 hours,” Holmes explained. “We’ve been practicing in the parking lot. We’re just a bunch of guys hanging out and throwing shoes.”

Welch said what helped was his ability to get ringers, or get the horseshoe around the post, consistently throughout the day.

“The lowest amount (of ringers) I had all day was four (in a game),” Welch said. “Most of the games I was having 5-6. I’ve never thrown that good.”

Welch said none of the Perrin kids had a chance to see the others compete as things were moving very quickly among the 12 courts.

“We’d talk to each other between games, but never saw each other compete,” Welch said. “There was a lot of back-to-back games and playing on top of each other.”

The Perrin team hopes to be able to return to defend its title next year if here is a second- tournament.

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