Deer Creek Antlers
Edmond, OK 74643
Record: 10-2 | Rank: 3
|vs Edmond North||W||49-20|
|@ Edmond Memorial||W||14-39|
|vs Ponca City||W||37-21|
|vs Putnam City||W||51-7|
|vs Northwest Classen||W||64-0|
|@ Capitol Hill||W||0-54|
|vs Putnam City North||W||69-0|
|vs Booker T Washington|
OSSAA State Quarterfinals at Deer Creek
OSSAA State Semi-Finals at Ponca City
WEEK 6 Rankings
| Ben Johnson
(__) - previous rank
1. Owasso (1) - 5-0
2. Broken Arrow (2) - 4-1
3. Jenks (4) - 2-3
4. PC North (5) - 5-0
5. Union (3) - 1-4
6. Norman (6) - 4-1
7. Westmoore (7) - 5-0
8. Moore (8) - 3-2
9. Mustang (10) - 3-2
10. Edmond Santa Fe (9) - 3-2
1. Bixby (1) - 5-0
2. Stillwater (2) - 5-0
3. Del City (4) - 4-1
4. Muskogee (6) - 5-0
5. Sapulpa (5) - 4-1
6. Choctaw (7) - 3-2
7. Booker T. Washington (3) - 2-3
8. Ponca City (10) - 3-2
9. Midwest City (8) - 2-3
10. Deer Creek (NR) - 3-2
1. Bishop McGuinness (2) - 4-1
2. Carl Albert (2) - 4-1
3. Edison (3) - 4-1
4. Tahlequah (5) - 5-0
5. Collinsville (6) - 4-1
6. Piedmont (10) - 4-1
7. Noble (NR) - 4-1
8. El Reno (7) - 4-1
9. Duncan (8) - 3-1
10. Pryor (9) - 4-1
1. Bethany (1) - 5-0
2. Tuttle (2) - 5-0
3. Wagoner (3) - 4-1
4. Poteau (5) - 4-1
5. Bristow (6) - 4-1
6. Clinton (3-2
7. Broken Bow (7) - 4-1
8. Weatherford (4) - 3-2
9. Central (9) - 5-0
10. Cache (10) - 3-2
1. Heritage Hall (1) - 4-0
2. Lincoln Christian (2) - 5-0
3. Plainview (3) - 3-1
4. Berryhill (5) - 5-0
5. Sulphur (6) - 5-0
6. John Marshall (4) - 4-1
7. Perkins-Tryon (7) - 5-0
8. Lone Grove (8) - 5-0
9. Stigler (10) - 4-1
10. Checotah (NR) - 4-1
1. Metro Christian (1) - 5-0
2. Sperry (2) - 5-0
3. Vian (3) - 4-1
4. Millwood (4) - 4-1
5. Holland Hall (5) - 4-1
6. Washington (6) - 5-0
7. Jones (7) - 4-1
8. Beggs (8) - 4-1
9. Kingston (9) - 4-1
10. Adair (10) - 4-1
1. Cashion (1) - 5-0
2. Stroud (2) - 5-0
3. Pawhuska (3) - 6-0
4. Rejoice Christian (4) - 5-0
5. Thomas (5) - 5-1
6. Pawnee (6) - 5-0
7. Minco (7) - 6-0
8. Christian Heritage (8) - 4-1
9. Mangum (NR) - 5-0
10. Dibble (NR) - 5-1
1. Shattuck (1) - 5-0
2. Regent Prep (2) - 5-0
3. Dewar (5) - 5-0
4. Burns Flat-Dill City (6) - 4-1
5. Laverne (7) - 4-1
6. Weleetka (8) - 3-2
7. Cherokee (3) - 4-1
8. Davenport (4) - 4-1
9. Canadian (9) - 5-0
10. Seiling (NR) - 5-1
1. Southwest Covenant (1) - 4-0
2. Pond Creek-Hunter (2) - 5-0
3. Covington-Douglas (4) - 4-2
4. Maysville (5) - 4-0
5. Coyle (6) - 4-1
6. Midway (7) - 6-0
7. Tyrone (3) - 4-1
8. Graham-Dustin (9) - 3-1
9. Boise City (8) - 4-1
10. Sharon-Mutual (NR) - 3-2
*Photo by Trey Hunter/Piedmont Gazette
Week 2 rankings
| Ben Johnson
(__) - previous rank - Week 1 result
1. Broken Arrow (1) - Beat Union, 14-0
2. Owasso (3) - Beat Fayetteville (Ark.), 51-19
3. Union (2) - Lost to Broken Arrow, 14-0
4. Jenks (4) - Lost to Bixby, 57-7
5. PC North (5) - Beat Putnam City, 50-0
6. Norman (6) - Beat Norman North, 31-24
7. Edmond Santa Fe (7) - Beat Edmond North, 41-14
8. Westmoore (9) - Beat Moore, 44-35
9. Mustang (10) - Beat Yukon, 38-0
10. Moore (8) - Lost to Westmoore, 44-35
1. Bixby (1) - Beat Jenks, 57-7
2. Stillwater (2) - Beat Edmond Memorial, 42-7
3. Booker T. Washington (3) - Beat Bishop Kelley, 33-14
4. Del City (4) - Beat Bishop McGuinness, 20-17
5. Sapulpa (5) - Beat Edison, 21-13
6. Choctaw (7) - idle
7. Midwest City (6) - Lost to Carl Albert, 31-0
8. Muskogee (8) - Beat McAlester, 43-7
9. Lawton (9) - Beat Burkburnett (Texas), 56-21
10. Deer Creek (NR) - Beat Southmoore, 45-14
1. Carl Albert (1) - Beat Midwest City, 31-0
2. Bishop McGuinness (4) - Lost to Del City, 20-17
3. Bishop Kelley (2) - Lost to Booker T. Washington, 33-14
4. Duncan (7) - Beat Putnam West, 59-35
5. Edison (5) - Lost to Sapulpa, 21-13
6. Collinsville (3) - Lost to Oologah, 13-12
7. Tahlequah (8) - Beat Fort Gibson, 42-21
8. Claremore (10) - Beat Bartlesville, 40-28
9. Guthrie (6) - Lost to Shawnee, 33-23
10. Noble (NR) - Beat Newcastle, 41-12
1. Bethany (1) - Beat Elk City, 41-20
2. Wagoner (3) - Beat Coweta, 36-27
3. Clinton (4) - Beat Woodward, 49-14
4. Weatherford (5) - idle
5. Tuttle (6) - Beat Kingfisher, 41-18
6. Blanchard (2) - Lost to Elgin, 35-20
7. Bristow (7) - Beat Cushing, 19-16
8. Poteau (8) - Beat Durant, 40-13
9. Broken Bow (9) - Beat Idabel, 41-0
10. Cache (NR) - idle
1. Heritage Hall (1) - Beat Millwood, 34-0
2. Lincoln Christian (2) - Beat Jones, 49-14
3. Plainview (3) - bye
4. Berryhill (4) - Beat Mannford, 35-7
5. John Marshall (5) - Beat Classen SAS, 48-0
6. Sulphur (6) - Beat Madill, 49-21
7. Seminole (8) - Beat Harrah, 40-8
8. Perkins-Tryon (10) - Beat Hennessey, 35-0
9. Kingfisher (7) - Lost to Tuttle, 41-18
10. Cascia Hall (9) - Lost to Holland Hall, 28-7
1. Metro Christian (2) - idle
2. Sperry (3) - Beat Verdigris, 49-13
3. Vian (4) - Beat Eufaula, 14-2
4. Holland Hall (5) - Beat Cascia Hall, 28-7
5. Millwood (1) - Lost to Heritage Hall, 34-0
6. Beggs (7) - Beat Okmulgee, 39-0
7. Washington (8) - Beat Hobart, 42-7
8. Kingston (9) - Beat Hugo, 44-22
9. Jones (6) - Lost to Lincoln Christian, 49-14
10. Adair (NR) - Beat Commerce, 46-16
1. Cashion (1) - Beat Prague, 28-0
2. Stroud (2) - Beat Okemah, 40-38
3. Thomas (3) - Beat Newkirk, 41-0
4. Pawhuska (4) - Beat Okla. Union, 60-18
5. Rejoice Christian (5) - Beat Crossings Christian, 48-6
6. Tonkawa (6) - Beat Newkirk, 41-0
7. Christian Heritage (7) - Beat Mount Saint Mary, 30-7
8. Morrison (9) - Beat Crescent, 24-10
9. Pawnee (10) - idle
10. Minco (NR) - Beat Dibble, 14-6
1. Shattuck (1) - Beat Destiny Christian, 44-8
2. Regent Prep (2) - Beat Prue, 53-6
3. Cherokee (4) - Beat South Barber (Kan.), 44-8
4. Davenport (3) - Lost to Weleetka, 32-28
5. Laverne (5) - Beat Alex, 28-22
6. Keota (6) - idle
7. Dewar (7) - Beat Strother, 46-0
8. Weleetka (8) - Beat Davenport, 32-28
9. Snyder (9) - Beat Waukomis, 44-6
10. Wetumka (10) - Beat Depew, 40-6
1. SW Covenant (1) - Beat Central Marlow, 52-28
2. Pond Creek-Hunter (3) - Beat Kremlin-Hillsdale, 54-0
3. Buffalo (4) - Beat Medford, 40-12
4. Covington-Douglas (6) - Beat Garber, 64-62 (4OT)
5. Tyrone (8) - Beat Turpin, 56-22
6. Tipton (2) - Lost to Burns Flat-Dill City, 54-6
7. Maysville (NR) - Beat Paoli, 52-6
8. Coyle (5) - Lost to Pioneer, 48-20
9. Midway (NR) - Beat Gans, 64-48
10. Boise City (NR) - Beat Beaver, 48-0
Photo credit - David Stacy
Week 1 Player of the Week Poll
| Ben Johnson
Cash Ramsey (Chelsea) - Sophomore tailback rushed for 276 yards and five touchdowns to propel the Green Dragons to a 52-13 victory over Ketchum. The win is Chelsea’s first since October of 2017.
Ben Webb (Southwest Covenant) - Senior quarterback completed 9 of 14 passes for 201 yards and four touchdowns. Also rushed for 57 yards and one touchdowns on four carries. On defense, Webb collected nine tackles, two tackles for loss, three pass breakups and one interception in the Patriots’ 52-28 win over Central Marlow.
Grant Elerick (Stroud) - Senior quarterback completed 24 of 40 passes for 369 yards and four touchdowns in the Tigers’ 40-38 victory over Okemah. Elerick completed the game-winning, 20-yard completion to Chasen Neuman with 12 seconds left on the clock.
Nate Anderson (Rejoice Christian) - Senior running back carried the ball 19 times for 284 yards and five touchdowns in the Eagles’ 48-6 victory over Crossings Christian.
Ethan Hamberlin (Thomas) - Senior tailback logged 28 carries for 276 yards and four touchdowns in the Terriers’ 33-26 victory over Alva.
Qwontrel Walker (Stillwater) - Junior running back amassed 262 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries in Stillwater’s 42-7 rout of Edmond Memorial.
Tyler Travis (Deer Creek) - Senior running back had 269 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries for the Antlers in their 45-14 win over Southmoore.
Triston Truelove (Tuttle) - Senior tailback led the charge for the Tigers with 283 yards and four touchdowns on 36 carries in the Tigers’ 41-18 victory over Kingfisher.
Harvey Phillips (Mustang) - Senior tailback had 204 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries in the Broncos’ 38-0 victory over rival Yukon.
Mason Williams - 16/19, 291 yards, 4 TD
Brennan Presley - 4 catches, 144 yards, 2 TD // 3 INT on defense
Isaiah Keller - 3 catches, 148 yards, 1 TD
Cole Dugger - 13/19, 220 yards, 3 TD
Booker T. Washington
Gentry Williams - Passed for 288 yards, ran for 71 yards, scored 5 TDs
Dae Dae Leathers - 17 carries, 258 yards, 2 TD
Braden Gilbert - 11/12 passing for 260 yards, 6 TD
Jack Wright - 5 receptions, 142 yards, 4 TD
Chase Ricke - 15/20 passing for 194 yards, 4 TD & rushed for 85 yards
Racer Felter - 9/15 passing for 301 yards, 5 TD & rushed for 27 yards
Mason Drake - 29/55 for 360 yards, 4 TD
Brennon Lewis - Rushed for 263 yards and threw for 183 yards and 5 total TDs
Bryant Watts - 13 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 INT on defense
Denver Rhymer - 10/16 passing for 231 yards, 2 TDs … rushed for 23 yards
Isaac Tubbs - 6 carries, 155 yards, 3 TDs … returned a kickoff for a touchdown
Blake Gonzales - 30 carries, 142 yards, 1 TD … also threw a 62-yard TD pass
Logan Smith - 13 carries, 132 yards, 3 TDs … 3 receptions for 74 yards, 1 TD
Thomas Brownfield - 14 carries, 156 yards, 2 TDs … 6 tackles, 1 INT on defense
Christian Houston - 26 carries, 191 yards, 2 TDs … 4 tackles, 1 sack on defense
CJ Brown - 12 carries, 104 yards, 1 TD … a kickoff return for a TD
Solomon Wright - 12 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 1 sack
Brody Rice - 5 catches for 24 yards, 1 TD … 4 punt returns for 103 yards and a TD … 35 net yards per punt … 12 tackles, 1 sack, 3 tackles for loss on defense
Parker Winters - 6 catches for 115 yards, 1 TD … 7 tackles, 1 INT on defense
Cole Fischer - 9 carries, 134 yards, 2 TDs … 3 receptions for 44 yards, 2 TDs … 12 tackles on defense
Ethan McLaughlin - 16/24 passing for 237 yards, 5 TDs … rushed for 34 yards
Kolby Adams - 255 rushing & 3 TDs … 103 passing yard & 1 TD
Tristan Burdick - 17 carries, 3 TDs … one TD passing
Zane Weilenman - 19 carries, 135 yards, 2 TDs
Justin Humphrey - 2 interceptions, 8 tackles … 60-yard punt on special teams
Heath Moles - 6 catches, 125. Yards 2 TDs … 6 tackles, 1 INT on defense
Addison Love - 21 carries, 119 yards, 2 TDs
Clancy Shoemake - 55-yard TD reception … interception on defense
Owen Ostroski - 10 tackles, 1 sack on defense
Wallace Clark - 11/21 passing for 199 yards and 2 TDs … 1 INT on defense
Kohlby Foster - 8 catches, 85 yards, 2 TDs … 80-yard punt return for a TD
Easton Francis - 85 rushing yards, 2 TDs … 126 yards passing, 1 TD
Dylan Walker - 7 catches, 179 yards, 2 TDs
Melchesidech Porter - 5/5 passing for 45 yards, 1 TD … 7 carries, 150 yards, 3 TDs
Johnny Durrosett - 5/7 passing for 200 yards, 3 TDs
Triton Chandler - 15/23 passing for 204 yards, 4 TDs
Coby Ervin - 7 tackles, 2 INTs on defense
Hardy Bowers - 12 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack
Jacob Martin - 15 carries, 107 yards, 3 TDs … 13/22 passing for 175 yards
Chase Nanni - 7 catches, 132 yards, 2 TDs
Isaac Smith - 14 tackles, 2 sacks
Ben Lawson - 6 catches, 133 yards, 2 TDs
Cade McNeil - 4 receptions, 100 yards, 2 TDs … 14-yard rushing TD … 2 punt returns for 102 yards and 2 TDs
Cliffy Hayes - 19 carries, 133 yards, 1 TD … 1 reception, 23 yards … 1/1 passing for 84 yards, 1 TD … 7 tackles on defense
Nate Ratcliff - 10/18 passing for 216 yards, 5 TDs
Jai’vion Dangerfield - 6 catches, 180 yards, 3 TDs (in one half)
Jaxon Gregston - 20/23 passing for 396 yards, 5 TDs … 1 rushing TD (all in one half)
Demetrius Beavers - 17 carries, 143 yards, 1 TD
Charlie Murdock - 19/28, 268 yards, 4 TDs … 7 rushes, 58 yards, 1 TD
Class 6AII SEASON PREVIEW
| Ben Johnson
STATE OF THE PROGRAM
If it’s another year of Class 6AII football, you can bet that Bixby will be in the mix. The Spartans secured another 6AII title in 2018 -- their fourth overall.
However, Bixby did lose several key pieces from last year’s team. Cade Cavender will need to be replaced at receiver and in the secondary; Clayton Barbour was an interception machine on defense and he’s now gone; Ryan Kerr kept the defense intact at middle linebacker and he graduated; and Noah West and Ethan Hall -- two outstanding defensemen -- also exhausted all their high school eligibility and graduated to college football.
But at Bixby, it’s always “plug and play” on the roster, so never count out the Spartans.
“Our team has been really focused,” Bixby head coach Loren Montgomery said. “We graduated some great players, but we have a great nucleus of leaders coming back.”
That spells trouble for the rest of 6AII.
Biggest on-field question: Who fills the void on the offensive and defensive lines?
Montgomery with a simple breakdown.
“The offensive and defensive lines will be a work in progress,” he said. “We graduated all three defensive linemen, but we have some great prospects coming back.”
Tallon Javersak and Hayden Haynes were key up front on defense, much like Cavender was an integral part of Bixby’s offensive and defensive game plans. But Montgomery has a player in mind to ease the pain of losing Cavender to Oklahoma State.
“I would keep an eye out for Luke Creeger,” Montgomery said. “He’s a senior wide receiver who we think will have a breakout year.”
Depth chart breakdown
Offense: Where to start?
There’s Mason Williams on offense, after he passed for 3,225 yards and 36 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2018.
“Mason continues to grow in our offensive system,” Montgomery said. “he had a great summer, and we are hoping he can only improve on last year’s performance.”
Braylin Presley is just now a sophomore and already has 743 yards and 12 touchdowns to his credit for the Spartans.
Then there’s Brennan Presley (Braylin’s older brother) at wide receiver, and he caught 67 passes for 1,081 yards and 10 touchdowns last year. And Montgomery already mentioned Creeger.
The offensive front figures to feature Kobe Williams and Matt Doyle as key figures in creating running lanes and keeping Williams upright in the pocket.
Defense: It’s Presley again! Brennan Presley, an Oklahoma State commit, has turned plenty of heads in the secondary leading up to his senior season.
Add in Jordan Reagan, another Oklahoma State commit, at cornerback, and the Spartans secondary is quite dangerous.
Key linebackers will include Zach Blankenship (state champion in wrestling), Brody Sartin, and Nick Wedel.
The defensive line could be more like a jigaw puzzle and figuring out where to place everyone early on.
Missed the most: Kerr, Hall, West and Cavender combined for 318 tackles last season. That kind of production can’t just be replaced overnight.
Aug. 30 - @ Mansfield Timberview (Texas)
Sept. 6 - @ Jenks
Sept. 13 - bye
Sept. 20 - @ Putnam City
Sept. 27 - Sapulpa
Oct. 4 - @ Booker T. Washington
Oct. 11 - Ponca City
Oct. 17 - @ Bartlesville
Oct. 25 - Sand Springs
Nov. 1 - @ Shawnee
Nov. 8 - Muskogee
*District 6AII-2 games
The 2018 season for Bixby was nothing but pure domination. Lost the season opener to Jenks but then rattled off 12 straight wins -- with most not being particularly close. This season’s schedule offers plenty of challenges, including six road games. But if the Spartans are able to plug in new faces along the offensive and defensive fronts, it could end up being another trophy-raising season for Bixby.
Class 6AII preview
**1. Bixby - Guys like Cade Cavender and Ryan Kerr are gone, but the Spartans still have talent all over the field with Brennan Presley, Jordan Reagan, Mason Williams and so much more.
2. Stillwater - The three-headed monster (Gunnar Gundy, Qwontrel Walker, Anthony Bland) is back for the Pioneers. Just have to wait and see who fills the voids left on offensive and defensive fronts.
3. Booker T. Washington - Sophomore quarterback Gentry Williams -- whose recruiting is accelerating by the day -- has perhaps the state’s top two targets in the passing game: JJ Hester and Keuan Parker.
4. Del City - The Foreman brothers graduated but Quinlan Ganther is back to lead the charge at quarterback.
5. Sapulpa - Expectations are high for the Chieftains with Eli Williams at quarterback and Te’Zohn Taft on both sides of the ball. If the defense is sound, it could be a big year for Sapulpa.
6. Midwest City - Bombers need to replace Preston Colbert at quarterback, who passed for 2,427 yards and 31 TDs last season.
7. Choctaw - Linebacker Jeff Roberson has committed to Oklahoma State, and he provides the Yellowjackets with an anchor on defense after collecting 117 tackles at Harrah in 2018.
8. Muskogee - Plenty of weapons returning for the Roughers this season, including junior quarterback Ty Williams, senior running back Jimmie Coleman and junior safety Caleb Webb.
9. Lawton - Wolverines have their hands full trying to replace Miles Davis’ production at running back last season.
10. Bartlesville - Bruins lost head coach Lee Blankenship to Mustang, but Jason Sport takes over with the luxury of having quarterback Ben Winters and safety Taton Hopkins returning in key spots.
** 2018 state champion
- Qwontrel Walker (Stillwater): Has compiled 3,060 rushing yards in two varsity seasons, and could finish on the state’s top 20 all-time rushing yards list if we doubles that over his next two years. Ran for 1,739 yards and 26 touchdowns during his sophomore campaign in 2018.
- Gunnar Gundy (Stillwater): Completed 143 of 226 passes last season and now has more than 4,000 career passing yards. Currently holds offers from Eastern Michigan and Toledo.
- Corey Williams (Choctaw): Split carries alongside Blake Muse last year, but now this year could see the bulk of the load after logging 778 yards and nine touchdowns.
- Gavin Houska (Deer Creek): Threw for 1,119 yards and 10 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2018.
- Eric Wiley (Lawton): Could become the focal point of the offense after the graduation of Miles Davis. Wiley threw for 1,424 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.
- Quinlan Ganther (Del City): Completed 59 percent of his passes and threw for 1,193 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior last season.
- Ty Williams (Muskogee): Churned out a solid sophomore season with 1,046 passing yards and nine touchdowns, in addition to 1,147 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground. Also picked off two passes on defense.
- Ben Winters (Bartlesville): Deferred to running back DeAndre Young a lot last year, but still threw for 1,355 yards and 10 touchdowns.
- Krishawn Brown (Booker T. Washington): Kansas commit enters his senior season after 119 tackles, 14 sacks and an interception last season.
- Mason Williams (Bixby): Somehow gets overlooked on a roster full of star power. Williams completed 68 percent of his passes last season for 3,225 yards and 36 touchdowns.
Our best guess(es)
MIcahel Swisher: Bixby -- Stillwater has all of the tools just as it did a year ago. But Bixby - like Bama in the NCAA and New England in the NFL - seems to just have that formula. Spartans do it again when it matters.
Whitt Carter: Bixby -- To say that Bixby has dominated this class since the inception of 6A-2 would ultimately be an understatement. The Spartans won it all again in 2018 and are surely the heavy favorite for their 5th title in six years. I think the talent of Booker T can certainly get it done, but I’ll go with the Spartans, who have it up front and out at the skill spots, as well as tradition.
Ben Johnson: Stillwater -- I’ll mix it up a bit. Hard not to go with Bixby, but I’ll side with Qwontrel Walker and his crew in 2019.
STATE WRESTLING: Drake Barbee's story of survival
| Ben Johnson
EMAIL ME - email@example.com | RELATED - State tournament wrestling predictions
Drake Barbee will take the mat at Jim Norick Arena on Friday. Impressive for someone who was near death 14 months ago.
“It was as severe as it could have gotten,” Barbee said, “other than death, of course.”
Barbee, attending Stilwell during his junior year at the time, was en route to his dad’s fiance’s house in Broken Arrow.
Then things went horribly wrong.
“I have no recollection of anything other then trying to avoid something that night,” Barbee said. “The people at the hospital told me there was a guy that crossed over the center line that was high on meth, and I should have died.”
Needless to say, Dec. 19, 2017, was a horrifying day for Chris Barbee, Drake’s dad.
“Hardest phone call I ever had to take,” the elder Barbee said. “A lot of stuff goes through your mind, and I didn’t know the extent of his injuries until I got to the hospital.”
Chris Barbee was about to be horrified all over again. The list of Drake’s ailments was painfully extensive.
- Broken hip
- Broken jaw
- Traumatic brain injury
- Brain bleeds
The injuries caused Drake Barbee to spend nine days in a coma. Then came “multiple months in multiple hospitals,” Drake recalled. “Then a rehab center for an additional month.”
Drake’s near-death experience came immediately after competing at the Tournament of Champions in Reno, Nevada. And it would be the last time he’d take the wrestling mat for a while -- and understandably so.
“It was hard; I looking anywhere I could to get on the mat,” Drake said. “I was decently moving after the rehab center, and my mentality was ‘just keep going.’ I was just trying to grind it out.”
But he pushed himself too hard. He ended up blowing out a knee while recovering.
His junior season was a lost cause. That prompted several months of rest for Drake, and it wasn’t long before he relocated to Blackwell.
But Drake also faced a harsh reality.
“It hit me,” he said, “I realized I might not be able to wrestle for a while.”
A crushing realization for someone who lives for the wrestling room.
“It’s my lifestyle,” Drake said. “I literally love wrestling. Call me crazy, but it’s what I do.”
For Chris Barbee, it was agonizing watching his son endure hardships that no high school athlete should have to entertain.
“It was very tough to see him go through that kind of ordeal,” Chris Barbee said. “I just knew it was gonna be a long road back.”
But Drake navigated the path back to full strength -- or as close to full strength as he can get.
Now he sports a 34-4 record and a regional championship as he enters the 195-pound field in the Class 3A state tournament in Oklahoma City.
“It’s been awesome,” Drake Barbee said of being at Blackwell for his senior season. “The wrestling tradition is what I like. It doesn’t get much better.”
Regardless of how Drake, an Arkansas-Little Rock signee, does at State Fair Arena, it’ll be impressive for a wrestler who was told he may never display the correct walking tendencies.
“The doctor said he’d never had someone recover and walk correctly,” Drake Barbee said. “So to recover and do what I’m doing now, I’m truly blessed.”
And Chris Barbee couldn’t be happier to coach his son for his senior season.
“It’s been very satisfying to see him get back to his old self and what he’s capable of,” Chris Barbee said. “He’s very driven and is a tireless worker. He’s wrestling really good right now, and he is gonna be tough to beat.”
STATE TOURNAMENT WRESTLING: Weight by weight predictions
| Ben Johnson
State tournament wrestling is back. It's the weekend that every high school wrestler circles on the calendar. Now time to make predictions for every single weight class inside Jim Norick Arena.
Brackets posted here
106: Cruz Aguilar (Edmond Memorial): Spent his freshman season at Heritage Hall, where he finished second at 106 in 2017. Almost went with Owasso’s Jared Campbell or Sand Springs’ Brendon Wiseley, but opted for a Bulldog to win a title for the first time since Johny Hendricks in 2002.
113: Tucker Owens (Mustang): Finished second as a freshman last season at 113. A title for Owens would be the first for the Broncos since 2005 -- and only the second since 1999.
120: Zach Blankenship (Bixby): Has burst onto the scene as a freshman for the Spartans this season. Blankenship’s only loss of the season was to Sand Springs’ Seth Jones, when Bixby bumped Blankenship up a weight class for a regular-season dual. Blankenship is 27-0 at 120 pounds this season, including a dominant run through last week’s regional in Jenks. Nic Roller (220 pounds in 2016) won Bixby’s last state championship, but before him was Shane Roller in 1998.
126: Carter Young (Stillwater): Upended Yukon’s Studd Morris for the 106 crown in 6A last season. But he did it at Sand Springs. Now at 126, Young has potential obstacles in his way, like Broken Arrow’s Blazik Perez (27-9) and Bartlesville’s Laif Jones (last year’s 6A champion at 120). Should mention, Stillwater also has gone two years without a state champion. Young could bring that to a halt.
132: Reece Witcraft (Broken Arrow): Went from second at 126 with Coweta in 2017 to state champion last year with Broken Arrow at 126. Witcraft, ranked fifth in the nation on InterMat, pinned Choctaw’s Colt Newton in the finals last year, and this year it could be a semifinals matchup. The two didn’t clash at dual state, so a semifinal showdown would be the first in a year. The 132 field is loaded, for sure. Edmond Memorial’s Jackson Oplotnik (20-5), Mustang’s Keegan Luton (33-10) and Owasso’s Zeke Washington (34-4 and 6A’s runner-up at 120 last season) all share space on the top half of the bracket. Witcraft has been hobbled by a bum ankle, but he beat Washington 7-2 in the regional finals so there’s little doubt he’ll be ready to go in Oklahoma City.
138: Peter Rolle (Edmond Memorial): There was some personal anguish in making a selection here. So many qualified wrestlers in this field that it was hard to pick who might finish above the fray. Ultimately, sided with Rolle, because why not? The Edmond Memorial senior is 30-5, and he’s got Deer Creek’s Parker Wright (32-8) and Broken Arrow’s Blake Gonzalez (21-7) on his side of the bracket. Then there’s Mustang’s Cameron Picklo (41-3) and Ponca City’s Spencer Schrickram (39-2) on the bottom half of the bracket. This weight will be a gauntlet to get through.
145: Gabe Johnson (Choctaw): Went from not placing as a freshman at 106 in 2017 to a runner-up spot at 132 last season for the Yellowjackets. Lost in last year’s finals to Ponca City’s Dylan Schickram, 7-3. And another tough field awaits Johnson, including Edmond North’s Jaxon Randall (24-11) on Johnson’s half of the bracket. Then there’s Deer Creek’s Micah Lugafet (21-3), Enid’s Chance Davis (21-5) and Ja’len Hernandez (35-5) in the bottom half of the bracket. Would be Choctaw’s first championship at 145 since Jaryn Curry in 2016.
152: Drake Vannoy (Jenks): This one was tough to pick. Sand Springs’ Scott Patton beat Vannoy for last week’s regional crown, but Vannoy was last year’s champion at 152. A championship for Vannoy would be Jenks’ first back-to-back champion since Justin DeAngelis won in 2008 through 2010.
160: Tate Picklo (Mustang): Went 35-4 as a freshman en route to a second-place showing at 145 last year in 6A. Now Picklo is 40-0 and ranked 11th in the country at 160. Putnam City’s Rene Martinez might be Picklo’s biggest challenge in the field, and Picklo beat Martinez in an 18-6 major decision to win last week’s regional crown.
170: Zane Coleman (Choctaw): Ranked sixth in the nation and looking to join the four-timers club. After two suspenseful championships during his freshman and sophomore years, Coleman cruised to last year’s title at 170 by pinning Broken Arrow’s Bryce Mattioda in the first period. Coleman, an Arizona State signee, enters his final state tournament with a record of 145-8 -- and only two losses in the last two seasons. Coleman’s only loss this year was in the 170 finals of the Geary Tournament, when he lost to Blair Academy’s Peyton Craft.
182: JT Stambeck (Norman North): Narrowly missed out on the 170 finals last season after enduring a 3-2 loss to Mattioda. Enters this year’s state tournament at 29-1. Would be the Timberwolves’ first state champion since Levi Berry (160) in 2013.
195: Carson Savage (Deer Creek): Entered last year’s state tournament as the No. 4 seed out of the West at 182. This season, Savage is 35-2 and the top seed from out west. He’ll have to contend with a deep field, though. Broken Arrow’s Gavin Potter (last year’s champion at 195), Sand Springs’ Kaden Glass (31-9), Union’s Elijah Tomlin (36-7) and Mustang’s Judson Rowland are all contenders. Took Savage over Potter after Savage picked up a 9-2 win over Potter at dual state a couple of weeks ago.
220: Zach Marcheselli (Broken Arrow): Another wrestler in 6A aiming to be a member of the four-timers club. Marcheselli, ranked ninth in the country, has been on cruise control for most of the season. After guiding the Tigers to their first football championship, Marcheselli, a Texas Christian University signee for football, could add to his collection of hardware in a 220 field that could end up seeing a rematch of the east regional last weekend. Marcheselli knocked off Edmond North’s Jake McCoy 8-2 for the regional crown, and both appear to be on a collision course for the finals in Oklahoma City.
285: Noah Cortes (Broken Arrow): Jenks’ Caleb Orr beat Cortes for the regional crown last week, but it was a 3-2 decision in an ultimate tiebreaker. This could go any direction, including Choctaw’s Marquan Journey (33-6) and Yukon’s Ashton Aldridge (32-7) vying for the title. Last year, Cortes didn’t even make it out of the pigtail round of the state tournament.
Brackets posted here
106: Cameron Steed (Collinsville): Should come as no surprise that Collinsville has yet more freshmen contending for championships at the lower weights. This year it’s Steed and Jordan Williams (below) as favorites in their respective fields. Steed tech-falled Coweta’s Brody Gee, 16-1, in the regional finals and don’t see any reason to think he won’t do the same to anyone he comes across in Oklahoma City.
113: Jordan Williams (Collinsville): Previously ranked sixth in the nation at 106 pounds, Williams has been unbeatable at both 106 and 113 this season. And this is a weight Collinsville has controlled for several years in recent memory with four championships since 2013 -- Davion Jeffries (2013), Christian Moody (2014), Caleb Tanner (2017) and Rocky Stephens (2018).
120: Rocky Stephens (Collinsville): Turned a third-place finish as a freshman into a state championship last year at 113 pounds. Could be stream-rolling straight ahead to a solid showdown in the finals between Stephens and Carl Albert’s Jayston Cato (33-2).
126: Josh Taylor (Skiatook): Surprising turn of events at the east regional last week with Collinsville freshman Jordan Cullors knocking off Taylor, 2-1. But that loss for Taylor puts him on the top half of the bracket, and he avoids Tahlequah’s Jakob Lyons, who has routinely wrestled Taylor tough these past two seasons. Don’t be surprised if it’s a Taylor-Cullors rematch -- but this time for a state championship.
132: Caleb Tanner (Collinsville): Last year’s champ at 126, Tanner could put himself in position for a special senior year if he wins this year’s state championship at 132. It would be Tanner’s third state championship, and he would be a season away from joining Gary Wayne Harding and Will Steltzlen -- who both became four-time state champions at the 2014 5A state tournament.
138: Kobi Gomez (Altus): Someone other than a Collinsville wrestler will win a state championship in Oklahoma City this weekend. It just won’t feel much like it through the first handful of weights. Collinsville’s Connor Henson certainly has a shot at claiming the 138 crown, but I’m going with the reigning state champion here to win his second title. Could pave the way for two more special years for Gomez.
145: Gage Hight (Glenpool): It’s now or never for Hight. He’s knocked on the doorstep twice, but in back-to-back state tournaments he’s had to settle for second place. Last year, Coweta’s Ricky Turner who upended Hight, 3-2, in the finals after Hight had won the reginal matchup between the two. Durant’s Cody Hicks (32-3) and El Reno’s Jacob Catagas (22-3) are lurking, but surely it’s going to be Hight’s year.
152: Cougar Anderson (Skiatook): If the Bulldogs are going to challenge Collinsville for the team title, Anderson winning at 152 could be key. Anderson, a sophomore, is 35-0, and he’s on the same side of the bracket as El Reno’s Cole Thomas (28-3). Anderson was dominant last year en route to his first title, and expect him to be ready to roll in Oklahoma City.
160: Hunter Jump (Duncan): After second-place finishes as a freshman and sophomore at Lawton MacArthur, Jump picked up a title for the Highlanders last season at 160, and he did so in convincing fashion. Now at Duncan, Jump will enter a stout field that includes Skiatook’s Richie Lee (37-1) and El Reno’s Kord LaFoe (24-5). A title for Jump would be Duncan’s first since 2011 (Markwae Sanders and Justin Hughes).
170: Christian Maldonado (Lawton Mac): This is a wide open field. Maldonado was second to Coweta’s Talon Borror last season, and Maldonado is a week removed from knocking off Piedmont’s Braden Culp, 7-4. But Culp is more than capable to make a run at a championship. Same goes for Skiatook’s Hunter Hall. This is about as wide open as it gets.
182: Talon Borror (Coweta): In 2016, Lawton MacArthur’s Nick Mahan beat Borror in the 160 quarterfinals. Since then, Borror hasn’t lost inside Norick Arena. Borror stormed to titles in 2017 and 2018. He’s 35-2 and looking for a third title to cap his high school career. Standing in his way could be Lawton Ike’s Muhammad A Al Zeragi (23-1) and Piedmont’s Austin Cooley (28-2).
195: Cabe Dickerson (Altus): It was Piedmont’s Will Heindselman that knocked off Dickerson, 8-7, in an ultimate tiebreaker in last year’s state finals. It was a crushing end to Dickerson’s sophomore season, and then he followed it up with an elbow injury that’s limited him to 12 matches this season. But if Dickerson is a full strength, the 195 crown should be his to lose.
220: Korbin McLaughlin (Skiatook): This is could make things interesting late into the state tournament. If Skiatook is coming down to the wire against Collinsville or Piedmont for the team crown, the Bulldogs will need McLaughlin to pick up as many points as possible. McLaughlin has posted two fourth-place finishes, but if he captures a championship it could propel Skiatook to a title.
285: Josh Heindselman (Piedmont): It was a Heindselman party at last year’s state tournament with Josh (220) and Will (195) both capturing gold. Now Josh will aim for Piedmont’s second-ever title at heavyweight, despite being possibly the smallest guy in the field. Lawton Mac’s Montana Phillips is a two-time state champion, and he’ll be out for some revenge after getting pinned at 2:15 by Heindselman at last week’s regional tournament.
Brackets posted here
106: Eli Griffin (Cascia Hall): Ranked 15th in the country, Griffin is aiming for his second championship in as many years. In order for the sophomore to do so, he’ll have to navigate a field that looks a lot like it did in 2018. Returning as qualifiers at 106 are Tuttle’s Ashton Grounds (35-8) and Cushing’s Luke Ahrberg (31-3) -- and they share space in the top half of the bracket. One way or another, the finals in 106 will be extremely entertaining.
113: Garrett Steidley (Tuttle): After grabbing his first title as a sophomore last season, Steidley is a heavy favorite at 113. Steidley rolled through regionals last week, but he enters a field with some solid contenders from the east -- Sallisaw’s Kaleb Harris (25-6) and Mannford’s Wade Landrum (28-8).
120: Reese Davis (Tuttle): With some big wins under his belt as a freshman, perhaps none were bigger than his rally at dual state against Wagoner in the finals to keep the Tigers’ unbeaten streak intact throughout the entire weekend. That win was against Wagoner’s Braden Drake, and Davis breezed past Harrah’s Breaden Williams in the regional semifinals. Then he did the same against Heritage Hall’s Cole Allen in the regional finals. Davis could be hitting his stride at the right time as a freshman.
126: Thaddeus Long (McLain): This time there’s no Ryder Ramsey in Long’s way. Long was second to Ramsey at 126 last season, and before that he finished third at 106 for Union in 2017. If Long captures a title for the Titans, it would be the school’s first since Greg Hawkins won at 178 in 1977.
132: Ryder Ramsey (Tuttle): Picking up his first title as a sophomore last season, Ramsey entered the state tournament 36-9. Now he heads to Oklahoma City at 43-3 and another key cog in Tuttle’s deep lineup.
138: Val Park (Heritage Hall): Since 2012, the Chargers have produced 17 state champions, including Kaden Gfeller’s four-year run from 2014 to 2017. And while he might not join the four-timers club, Val Park has been a staple of consistency for Heritage Hall at the lower weights since teaming with Gfeller during his senior season in 2017. Park will be after his third title in as many years, winning previously at 113 (2017) and 132 (last season).
145: Brady DeArmond (Tuttle): Despite Tuttle being so utterly dominant across the board in 4A for quite some time now, last season’s state tournament felt a little off with Tuttle only claiming three state titles. And DeArmond was one that settled for third place after losing to Heritage Hall’s Carson West in the 145 semifinals. DeArmond enters a field that could pose some challenges, including Fort Gibson’s Cade Waltman, but DeArmond appears poised to snare his first title during his junior season.
152: Luke Surber (Tuttle): Elgin’s Jacob Butler dashed any hopes that Surber had of becoming a four-time state champion with a sudden victory win against Surber in last year’s 138 finals. Since then, Surber has been nearly unbeatable on the mat for the Tigers, including tournament titles at the MidCals in Gilroy, California, and an individual championship at the Geary Tournament in January. There are some quality wrestlers at 152 -- Cache’s Duncan Shafer (30-2), Bristow’s Anthony Bigpond (20-5), Catoosa’s Abel Perez (41-6) -- but good luck trying to knock off Surber this year.
160: Jacob Ahrberg (Cushing): It was a fourth-place finish for Ahrberg last year at 145, a year after not placing at 126. Now Ahrberg arrives in Oklahoma City at 23-0, fresh off a dominant run at the east regional in Catoosa. Madill’s Colt Crowson (26-5) could pose a significant threat to Ahrberg in the bottom half of the bracket, and then there’s Tuttle freshman Harley Andrews lurking in the top half. Also, a little surprising but a Cushing wrestler hasn’t won a title since 2014 (Gage Stallworth).
170: Dustin Plott (Tuttle): There might not be a better wrestler in the state right now than Plott, ranked third nationally and who has gone 88-1 over the course of his sophomore season and his current junior campaign. The lone loss was a 6-5 decision to Blair Academy’s Julian Ramirez in the Geary Tournament finals this January. Plott went fall-fall-major decision to win last year’s title at 160, so don’t be surprised this year with tech fall-fall-fall (or something impressive like that).
182: Gage Hockett (Cushing): There’s been a natural progression each year Hockett has been in the state tournament. As a freshman, he was third at 160 in 2017, and last season he finished second with a loss to Plott in the 160 finals in 4A. This season he returns to Norick Arena at 29-0 after taking down Cleveland’s Tyler Johnson (18-8) with an 8-5 decision in the regional finals. The winner between Anadarko’s John Mark Holton (29-6) and Oologah’s Landon Brown (30-6) could pose a threat to Hockett in the semifinals on Friday, though.
195: Carson Berryhill (Tuttle): A state champion as a sophomore in 2017, Berryhill lost to Heritage Hall’s Colton Denney in the 170 finals last season. But Berryhill bounced back in the fall by quarterbacking the Tigers to the 4A title, and now he sports a 37-1 mark (only loss to Mustang’s Judson Rowland at the Geary Tournament), heading into the state tournament. Berryhill has even worked his way up to 11th in the nation at 195. In Berryhill’s crosshairs in Oklahoma City could possibly be Poteau’s Nate Ulmer (32-1) and Cushing Eriq Simpson (34-2).
220: Luke Fortney (Bristow): Now a junior, the best Fortney has done at the state tournament was fourth at 195 last season. Now he’s 25-0 and coming off a solid weekend at regionals. He’s steamrolled his way to titles at the Chuck West Invitational and the Cushing tournament, and if Fortney can with a title he’d be Bristow’s first since 2007 (Kale Biggs at 160).
285: Griffon Williams (Madill): Guaranteed to not have a Tuttle winner here. It’s the one weight the Tigers didn’t qualify at. It’s a pretty balanced field that includes Wagoner’s Jaydn Marshall (31-12), Bristow’s Steven Marlow (23-7) and Blanchard’s Ryder Wiese (31-6). But this could be the year Madill wins its first individual title since 2003, when Brent Parkey picked up his third title in as many years.
Brackets posted here
106: Gabe Valencia (Perry): Finished fourth last year in his first crack at the state tournament. Now a junior, Valencia drops down a weight class and enters the final weekend at 44-6. At dual state, Valencia beat Marlow’s Case Rich, but the Outlaws will send Tyler Lawson (38-6) into the mix for a possible showdown against Valencia in the finals.
113: Ryan Smith (Perry): There’s a lot of quality depth at this weight, but none more superlative than Smith (43-2), last year’s champion at 106. Bridge Creek’s Kaden Smith (37-8) and Locust Grove’s Hunter Fitzpatrick (24-5) could make for tough semifinals draws, but Smith could be on a collusion course with Walters’ Remington White, the program’s only wrestler and a 2017 state champion. White to Plainview’s Jaxson Roney in the 113 finals, and it could be Smith standing in the way of only the second wrestling championship at Walters.
120: Alex Prince (Vinita): It was Perry’s Logan Smith -- the weight’s top seed from the east -- who pinned Prince in the final two seconds of their semifinal class at Perry last week. That leaves Prince (40-7) with a tough draw of Hinton’s Brian Pastrana (27-3) in the quarterfinals and possibly Smith (24-11) in the semifinals. If he advances beyond that, Checotah’s Luke Collett (28-6) or Newkirk’s Dayton Cary could be waiting in the finals. That’s quite a load for Prince in his junior season.
126: Kolton Smith (Bridge Creek): Two years in a row, Smith has watched while a Perry wrestler stood atop the podium. In 2017, Smith lost 7-4 to Perry’s Cale Betchan at 120, and last season Smith was on the wrong end of a 4-2 decision against Perry’s Cade Nicholas. And now, Smith enters as the top seed from the west after beating Marlow’s Anthony Orum (31-4) in the west finals. If a Bridge Creek wrestler wins a title this season, it would be the school’s first.
132: Dylan Avery (Perry): Now a junior, Perry will be after his second title in as many years. The field is deep at 132, though, with the likes of Sulphur’s Kolbe Madron (36-8), Marlow’s Jordan Taylor (42-5), Pawnee’s Wesley Scott (35-2) and Morris’ Kolby Adams (31-6).
138: Price Perrier (Pawhuska): Mike Perrier won a state championship at 136 in 1990. That’s Price’s father. Dax Perrior won a state championship at 160 in 2010. That’s Price’s brother. Price could be carrying on a family legacy with a title. But the field is a deep one. Plenty of candidates could snag the 138 crown -- Perkins-Tryon’s Ayron Lawson (30-7), Marlow’s Kobey Kizarr (43-4), Kingfisher’s Stone Snodgrass (29-8) and Salina’s Austin Wilkins (20-8).
145: Kolby DePron (Bridge Creek): Like his teammate, Kolton Smtih, DePron watched as a Perry wrestler celebrated a championship last year. As a freshman, DePron logged a second-place showing at 132. Now he’s the favorite at 145, despite plenty of qualified candidates -- Morris’ Ryan Allred (30-7), Geary’s Landon Holt (31-5) and Salina’s Brier Smith (46-3).
152: Hadyn Redus (Perry): A title would be Redus’ second in as many years. Redus pinned Little Axe’s Alec McDoulett in the third period of last year’s 138 finals, and sure enough, McDoulett is back in the same state tournament field as Redus again. Mangum’s Daelin Stacy (24-7), Pawnee’s Blake Skidgel and Comanche’s Gage Miller (33-5) all pose serious threats, too.
160: Cade Shrosphire (Checotah): The only state champion in the history of Checotah Public Schools will go for his second straight title as a senior now. This time the field is a tad deeper. Barnsdall’s Joe Smith (31-3) is on the top half of the bracket with Shrosphire, and Marlow’s Tyler Lavey (38-3) occupies the bottom half. And Shrosphire narrowly edged past Lavey in the regional finals, 3-2.
170: Bryce Carter (Sperry): The returning champion at this spot is Comanche’s Cade Cook (35-4), and he’s back as the top seed out of the west for his junior year. He could pair up with Jay’s Zach Coy (46-1) in the semifinals, and that could end up being a coin toss -- which is basically was when Cook beat Coy, 2-1, in last year’s quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Carter is up from 160 at this time last year, and he enters the state field at 33-2. And much like Tuttle’s Carson Berryhill, he’s going for the one-two punch of football-and-wrestling championships. And never count out Perry’s Jace Burdick (34-13), who finished second to Cook in last year’s 170 finals.
182: River Simon (Vian): Only two wrestlers have ever won state championships at Vian, and one just so happens to be Simon (2017 at 170; the other is Landon Decker in 2012). Simon, an Army signee, missed last year’s state tournament due to various injuries, and he hasn’t wrestled a full schedule to this point (only 22-1). But when he’s on the mat, he’s tough to beat. Sulphur’s Trey Kiser (36-7) is on the bottom half of the bracket, and he gets Vinita’s Zach Wattenbarger (43-3) in the quarterfinals. Then there’s Perry’s Kohl Owen (37-10), last year’s champion at 182.
195: Drake Barbee (Blackwell): What a story Barbee is. Endured a horrifying car accident two years ago, and now he’s back in the state tournament field as the top seed from the east. Barbee is 34-4 and he finished second at 182 at his last state tournament in 2017 -- when he wrestled for Stilwell. Already signed to wrestle at Arkansas-Little Rock in college, Barbee motored through the regional field, including a win by fall over Tonkawa’s Simeon Shepherd in the third period. The 195 field also features Little Axe’s Caeden Guthary (30-5), Hinton’s Denver Dahlenburg (29-3) and Perry’s Brandon Speikers (44-8).
220: Konner Doucet (Comanche): Already halfway to the four-timers club, Doucet, for the first time, enters the state tournament unbeaten in a season. He is 37-0 cruised through the regional tournament last weekend. Last year, he knocked off Sperry’s A.J. McEntire in the finals, 4-2, and as a freshman he was pegged as the 195 champion when Sulphur’s Dan Baker was disqualified in a controversial ending in extra time. Now Doucet is ranked sixth nationally at 220. Some of the others at 220 include Vinita’s Brodie Miller (39-6), Vian’s Cruz Partain (34-2) and Berryhill’s Nico Lopez.
285: Cooper Webb (Davis): Looking for his second straight title, Webb is 29-1 this season. He’ll have his work cut out for him against the likes of Geary’s Chase Merkey (33-3), Perry’s Teaguan Wilson (30-6) and Locust Grove’s Dalton Shatto (26-1). In fact, it was Webb who beat Shatto, 9-5, in last year’s heavyweight finals. Fun fact: Cooper’s brother, Conner Webb, won three titles for Davis from 2015 to 2017, and Cooper could still tie him with a championship this year and next.
**Photos courtesy of Austin Bernard/Owrestle.com
Have your own predictions or have feedback? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW PODCAST: Talkin' Wrestlin' ..... (and lots of hoops)
| Ben Johnson
The winter sports season is winding down, so we dissect playoffs happenings in Class 4A through Class B basketball. Swisher breaks down what happened on the hardwood, and what to look forward to this week.
Then we shift gears and Ben breaks down the state wrestling fields with Brian Heindselman. We make some predictions and let fans know what to watch for at Jim Norick Arena over the weekend. (PS, we think Tuttle is pretty good. SURPRISE!)
Email the show at email@example.com - Have a question you want answered on the podcast? Email us & we'll talk about it on the next show.
5A/6A dual state roundup: Taylor sends Skiatook to first title
| Ben Johnson
SHAWNEE -- It all came down to Mitchell Lance or Josh Taylor. Fortunately for Skiatook, it had a state champion ready to roll with a Class 5A dual state championship on the line.
Taylor, last year’s 5A champion at 120 pounds as a freshman, scored in early takedown against Lance, and he cruised the rest of the way to an 8-0 major decision, sending Skiatook to a 29-25 victory and its first dual state title.
“I wouldn’t want to put it in anyone else’s hands,” Taylor said not long after his team was handed some dual state hardware inside FireLake Arena. “I knew I could pull through.”
With all eyes inside the venue on the 5A mat, Taylor’s confidence was on full display. While resetting in the middle of the mat in the second period, he winked at someone in the direction of the scorer’s table.
He knew the Bulldogs were a few minutes away from a celebration.
“Once I got that first period takedown,” Taylor said, “it set the tone for the whole match.”
Starting at 132 pounds, Piedmont -- in its first dual state finals appearance -- worked its way up to a 16-9 advantage and then a 22-18 lead after Oklahoma signee Josh Heindselman recorded a pin at heavyweight. Eventually, Piedmont’s Alan Flores would tie the dual at 25 with a 8-4 win at 120 pounds, but Taylor took the mat and sealed the deal for Skiatook, last year’s runner-up at 5A dual state.
“To have Josh Taylor go last -- especially in a tied up dual -- you couldn’t ask for a better one to go take care of business,” said Skiatook coach Jake Parker, who had a message for his team before the season started.
“We started a saying and wanting to know, ‘is it worth it?’ It is worth it to go get that extra takedown or fight off your back. That’s kind of our new saying; it has to be worth it you to be able to go compete for what you’re doing.”
In the end, Skiatook won eight of the 14 matches and prevailed as 5A’s new dual state champion.
**See results from the 5A dual finals below
6A: Broken Arrow back on top with big win over Choctaw
Class 6A No. 1 Broken Arrow made easy work of Choctaw in a 50-10 victory in the dual state finals on Saturday night. But it was getting to the championship that proved to be the day’s biggest hurdle for the Tigers.
In a dual marred by unsportsmanlike conduct point deductions both ways, Broken Arrow managed to hold off Mustang, 29-24, to reach the 6A finals.
Mustang jumped out to a 12-0 lead, and Broken Arrow was forced to fire Oklahoma State signee Reece Witcraft out there, even with an injured left ankle. On practically one leg, Witcraft scored a 6-5 win over Mustang’s Joseph Sylvester at 145 pounds (up a weight class from where Witcraft normally wrestles), and the Tigers used that momentum to win six of seven matches between 145 pounds and 220.
But Mustang’s Christiain Rowland scored a win by fall over Broken Arrow’s Noah Cortes at heavyweight, and the Broncos were within 24-22 with three weights remaining. And ultimately, Broken Arrow’s Jared Hill cruised past Mutang’s Jaston Jackson with a 11-1 major decision to punch the Tigers’ way into the finals.
Against Choctaw, Broken Arrow lost only three matches, and it was Chris Moores fighting off multiple pin attempts by Choctaw’s Gabe Johnson that proved to be a spark for the Tigers. Moores suffered a 19-8 major decision loss, but he kept the Tigers from giving away major bonus points to Choctaw, who only scored wins by Johnson, Zane Coleman (170) and Colt Newton (132).
Witcraft, wrestling at 138, made quick work of Choctaw’s Jace Dean with a pin at 23 seconds, Noah Cortes (220), Zach Marcheselli (heavyweight) and Jared Hill (120) all won by fall to pad Broken Arrow’s lead.
It was the Tigers’ first dual state championship since 2014.