Bartlesville, OK 74006
Record: 3-7 | Unranked
|@ Del City||L||49-24|
|vs Booker T Washington||L||0-28|
|vs Sand Springs||W||54-34|
|@ Ponca City||W||29-34|
| Ben Johnson
Zero week was all about Swisher flexing on both myself and Whitt. Let’s see if we can’t bring him back down to earth this week….
Michael Swisher: 11-3
Whitt Carter: 7-7
Ben Johnson: 8-6
(Should mention that my wife and Whitt’s wife are picking on the side, and once I can get these picks posted on time I’ll make sure to include Madison Carter’s picks so she doesn’t get mad at me anymore!)
Millwood at Heritage Hall
Michael Swisher: Heritage Hall
Whitt Carter: Heritage Hall
Ben Johnson: Heritage Hall
Broken Arrow at Union
Michael Swisher: Broken Arrow
Whitt Carter: Union
Ben Johnson: Union
Carl Albert at Midwest City
Michael Swisher: Carl Albert
Whitt Carter: Carl Albert
Ben Johnson: Carl Albert
Bixby at Jenks
Michael Swisher: Jenks
Whitt Carter: Bixby
Ben Johnson: Jenks
Booker T. Washington at Bishop Kelley
Michael Swisher: Booker T. Washington
Whitt Carter: Booker T. Washington
Ben Johnson: Booker T. Washington
Bishop McGuinness at Del City
Michael Swisher: Del City
Whitt Carter: Del City
Ben Johnson: Bishop McGuinness
Lincoln Christian at Jones
Michael Swisher: Lincoln Christian
Whitt Carter: Jones
Ben Johnson: Lincoln Christian
Tuttle at Kingfisher
Michael Swisher: Tuttle
Whitt Carter: Tuttle
Ben Johnson: Tuttle
Sapulpa at Edison
Michael Swisher: Sapulpa
Whitt Carter: Sapulpa
Ben Johnson: Sapulpa
Crossings Christian at Rejoice Christian
Michael Swisher: Rejoice Christian
Whitt Carter: Rejoice Christian
Ben Johnson: Rejoice Christian
Norman at Norman North
Michael Swisher: Norman
Whitt Carter: Norman North
Ben Johnson: Norman
Claremore at Bartlesville
Michael Swisher: Claremore
Whitt Carter: Claremore
Ben Johnson: Bartlesville
Broken Bow at Idabel
Michael Swisher: Broken Bow
Whitt Carter: Broken Bow
Ben Johnson: Broken Bow
Cascia Hall at Holland Hall
Michael Swisher: Holland Hall
Whitt Carter: Cascia Hall
Ben Johnson: Cascia Hall
Vian at Eufaula
Michael Swisher: Vian
Whitt Carter: Vian
Ben Johnson: Vian
Davenport at Weleetka
Michael Swisher: Davenport
Whitt Carter: Davenport
Ben Johnson: Davenport
Medford at Buffalo
Michael Swisher: Buffalo
Whitt Carter: Buffalo
Ben Johnson: Buffalo
| Ben Johnson
An absolutely tremendous slate of games this week. Let’s get to it…
1. Millwood at Heritage Hall
One team was thought to be the preeminent favorite in its class last year until it was upset in the playoffs by Vian. That was Millwood in 2018. One team was head and shoulders above every other team in its class and coasted to a state championship. That was Heritage Hall in Class 3A, of course. Not too shabby when these two clash, and they do it again this year after Millwood won last year, 30-20.
2. Broken Arrow at Union
This one had been one-sided for quite some time, and Broken Arrow put a stop to that last season. Union still owns a 38-5 record all-time against Broken Arrow, but the Tigers took out frustration of 14 straight losses by dismantling Union, 33-10. The Tigers went on to win the state championship and finally join Union among the ranks of state champions in 6AI. One matchup to watch will be Union’s passing game against Broken Arrow’s secondary, led by the likes of Oregon commit Myles Slusher, who had an interception return for a touchdown in a blowout win over Mansfield on Saturday.
3. Carl Albert at Midwest City
This one had been all Midwest City, dating back to 1976 when the Bombers started their six-game winning streak against Carl Albert. But the Titans put a stop to that with a 28-21 victory last season. Then the Titans did what they always do – win a 5A championship.
4. Bixby at Jenks
Both were dominant last week with wins over teams in Mansfield, Texas, last week. Jenks’ defense was stout, pitching a shutout against Mansfield Legacy, while Bixby’s offense was unstoppable against Mansfield Timberview. Bixby managed to thwart Jenks in 2017, but the Trojans won this matchup last year, 28-14, and they now own a 47-13 record against Bixby.
5. Booker T. Washington at Bishop Kelley
The Hornets were shut out last week in a loss to North Little Rock (Ark.), and they’ll get another stout defensive challenge from Bishop Kelley, who lost to Booker T. Washington last year, 24-14.
6. Bishop McGuinness at Del City
Plenty of offensive firepower will be on the field for both teams, including Del City’s Quinlan Ganther and Bishop McGuinness’ Dominic Richardson. Del City won this one last year, 47-7.
7. Lincoln Christian at Jones
Bust out the calculators for this one; could be plenty of points being scored. Both teams soared on offense last week, with Lincoln Christian beating Inola, 51-19 and Jones knocking off Oklahoma Christian School, 56-8. Last year it was Lincoln Christian that prevailed over Jones, 34-19.
8. Tuttle at Kingfisher
Tuttle knocked off Kingfisher 26-14 last season, and now the reigning 4A champions will explore life without quarterback Carson Berryhill.
9. Sapulpa at Edison
The Chieftains, powered by Eli Williams, a TCU commit, at quarterback, took down Edison, 34-13, last season. But it wasn’t long after that game that Edison running back – now a Nebraska commit – Sevion Morrison started taking down every Edison rushing record that ever existed.
10. Crossings Christian at Rejoice Christian
Two heavy favorites in Class A, and for good reason. Rejoice Christian won both matchups last season – 21-20 in the regular season and 33-14 in the playoffs. In fact, Rejoice has won the past four showdowns with Crossings, dating back to 2016.
Norman at Norman North
Claremore at Bartlesville
Broken Bow at Idabel
Cascia Hall at Holland Hall
Vian at Eufaula
Davenport at Weleetka
Medford at Buffalo
| Ben Johnson
1. Broken Arrow (2)
2. Union (1)
3. Owasso (3)
4. Jenks (4)
5. PC North (5)
6. Norman (6)
7. Edmond Santa Fe (7)
8. Moore (8)
9. Westmoore (9)
10. Mustang (10)
1. Bixby (1)
2. Stillwater (2)
3. Booker T. Washington (3)
4. Del City (4)
5. Sapulpa (5)
6. Midwest City (6)
7. Choctaw (7)
8. Muskogee (8)
9. Lawton (9)
10. Bartlesville (10)
1. Carl Albert (1)
2. Bishop Kelley (2)
3. Collinsville (3)
4. Bishop McGuinness (4)
5. Edison (5)
6. Guthrie (6)
7. Duncan (7)
8. Tahlequah (8)
9. Ardmore (9)
10. Claremore (10)
1. Bethany (1)
2. Blanchard (2)
3. Wagoner (3)
4. Clinton (4)
5. Weatherford (5)
6. Tuttle (6)
7. Bristow (7)
8. Poteau (8)
9. Broken Bow (9)
10. Cache (NR)
1. Heritage Hall (1)
2. Lincoln Christian (2)
3. Plainview (3)
4. Berryhill (4)
5. John Marshall (5)
6. Sulphur (6)
7. Kingfisher (7)
8. Seminole (8)
9. Cascia Hall (9)
10. Perkins-Tryon (10)
1. Millwood (1)
2. Metro Christian (2)
3. Sperry (3)
4. Vian (4)
5. Holland Hall (5)
6. Jones (6)
7. Beggs (7)
8. Washington (8)
9. Kingston (9)
10. Eufaula (10)
1. Cashion (1)
2. Stroud (2)
3. Thomas (3)
4. Pawhuska (4)
5. Rejoice Christian (5)
6. Tonkawa (6)
7. Christian Heritage (7)
8. Crossings Christian (9)
9. Morrison (10)
10. Pawnee (NR)
1. Shattuck (1)
2. Regent Prep (2)
3. Davenport (3)
4. Cherokee (4)
5. Laverne (5)
6. Keota (6)
7. Dewar (7)
8. Weleetka (8)
9. Snyder (9)
10. Wetumka (10)
1. SW Covenant (2)
2. Tipton (1)
3. Pond Creek-Hunter (3)
4. Buffalo (4)
5. Coyle (5)
6. Covington-Douglas (6)
7. Fox (7)
8. Tyrone (8)
9. Sharon-Mutual (9)
10. Medford (10)
*** Big thanks to Caleb Williams, whose work is the cover photo for this post. Check out his work here: https://www.photosbycaleb.com/
| 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.
| Ben Johnson
We're now a week away from real-life, actual football. (Well, games that actually count)
This week we pay tribute to one of the state's best, Mr. Ray West, who passed away recent. Swisher shares several great stories about West and what he meant to a lot of people in this great state.
Then we start our football previews, talking about Classes 6AI through 4A. We unveil our top 10 in each class and offer up some storylines along the way.
Want to interact with the podcast? Tweet us at @michaelswisher & @benjohnsontul
Or you can email the show at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, thanks for listening!
| Ben Johnson
Girls golf - state championship results
1. Edmond North - 621 - Huskies second straight championship and ninth overall
2. Jenks - 629
3. Edmond Memorial - 649
1. Sydney Hermann (Ponca City) - 144 (73-71) - Went from finishing in a tie for 10th at last year’s state tournament to winning this year’s title
2. Emma Shelley (Bartlesville) - 148 (71-77)
3. Emily Miller (Edmond North) - 150 (76-74)
1. Durant - 666 - Lions pick up second title in program history (first was in 2016)
2. Duncan - 680
3. Ardmore - 737
1. Blayne Barker (Durant) - 146 (75-71) - Was last year’s seventh-place finisher in 5A.
2. Jaelynn Unger (Noble) - 150 (72-78)
3. Mika Ramos (Bishop Kelley) - 152 (75-77)
1. Hilldale - 616 - Hornets first championship since 2015 and fifth overall.
2. Wagoner - 723
3. Muldrow - 724
1. Kenzie Kirkhart (Hilldale) - 146 (76-70) - Joins sister Katie Kirkhart as an individual state champion.
2. Maddie Kamas (Kingfisher) - 147 (73-74)
3. Jordan Clayborn (Hilldale) - 149 (74-75)
1. Plainview - 582 - A move down to 3A this year secured the Indians’ third straight championship and fourth overall.
2. Purcell - 675
3. Dickson - 684
1. Reagan Chaney (Plainview) - 136 (66-70) - Was the fourth-place finisher in 4A last year before winning this year’s crown.
2. Taylor Towers (Rejoice Christian) - 143 (72-71)
3. Adeline Noron (Plainview) - 144 (70-74)
*1. Oklahoma Christian School - 750 - Saints celebrated their first-ever girls golf championship in dramatic fashion.
2. Regent Prep - 750
3. Mooreland - 754
*Won in a playoff
1. Jenni Roller (Regent Prep) - 142 (73-69) - Roller wins the title in Regent Prep’s first year competing for the OSSAA championship.
2. Brooklyn Benn (Oklahoma Christian School) - 146 (73-73)
3. Sarah Sherrard (Christian Heritage) - 154 (75-79)
Boys golf - state championship results
FIND FULL TOURNAMENT RESULTS HERE
1. Owasso - 897 - A second-round 284 propelled the Rams to their first championship since 2015, while ending Edmond North’s three-year run of titles.
2. Edmond North - 901
3. Stillwater - 901
1. Jordan Wilson (Edmond North) - 213 (68-70-75) - Went from fourth place last season to state champion this year.
2. Cooper Wilguess (Edmond Memorial) - 217 (72-70-75)
3. Kyle Peterson (Bixby) - 218 (74-74-70)
1. Guthrie - 916 - Beat Bishop McGuinness by eight strokes to win last year’s state championship, and this year enjoyed a 28-shot cushion for the program’s fifth crown.
2. Bishop McGuinness - 944
3. Bishop Kelley - 949
1. Luke Morgan (Guthrie) - 213 (69-68-76) - Was eight shots off the winning pace last year for third place, but this season beat all other golfers and won by four strokes.
2. Hunter Oden (Piedmont) - (71-72-74)
3. David Woodliff (Bishop Kelley) - 223 (74-74-75)
1. Heritage Hall - 911 - Chargers snagged their third straight title and 13th overall.
2. Cascia Hall - 950
3. Holland Hall - 951
1. Max Roberts (Ada) - 213 (70-72-71) - Had a seventh-place finish last year in the state tournament, but was one of three players to shoot a final-day 71 to claim the title.
2. Drew Mabrey (Holland Hall) - 217 (72-73-72) -
3. William McDonald (Heritage Hall) - 219 (75-69-75)
1. Regent Prep - 882 - First program in school history to win its second championship. Rams won 2A last year and now 3A this season.
2. Oklahoma Christian School - 890
3. Kingston - 930
*1. Jaxon Dowell (OCS) - 202 (67-69-66) - Dowell edged out Goodman for last year’s championship by three strokes, and this time the Oklahoma commit won in a playoff.
2. Drew Goodman (Chr. Heritage) - 202 (63-69-70)
3. Jackson White (Regent Prep) - 207 (69-69-69)
1. Turner - 924 - First team title since 2004 was never in doubt, thanks a 306 and a 308 in the first two rounds of the tournament.
2. Linc. Christian - 955
3. Community Christian - 956
1. Conner Boydston (Big Pasture) - 210 (66-74-70) - His first round 66 held up over the next two rounds, as he went from finishing fourth last season to first this year.
2. Brayden Strickland (Linc. Christian) - 215 (70-71-74)
3. Jackson Hoelker (Okla. Bible Academy) - 219 (71-71-77)
* Photo credit - Kevin Farr
| Ben Johnson
The Oklahoma Coaches Association announced the 2019 All-State wrestling rosters on Tuesday morning.
Here are the rosters and some notes on the honorees:
113: David Boucher (Bartlesville)
120: Laif Jones (Bartlesville)
126: Ty Nohelty (McAlester)
132: Reece Witcraft (Broken Arrow) - Two-time state champion headed to Oklahoma State
138: Spencer Schickram (Ponca City) - Won the Class 6A 138 title this season
145: Gage Hight (Glenpool) - Finished as a three-time runner-up for the Warriors
152: Ja’len Hernandez (Union)
160: Scott Patton (Sand Springs) - Runner-up at 6A 152
170: Isaac Strain (Tahlequah)
182: Talon Borror (Coweta) - Three-time state champion headed to Oklahoma
195: Elijah Tomlin (Union)
220: Korbin McLaughlin (Skiatook) - The 5A 220 champion this season to help Skiatook split the 5A state title with Collinsville
HWT: Caleb Orr (Jenks) - Runner-up in 6A heavyweight this season
113: Dominic Derr (Westmoore)
120: Jayston Cato (Carl Albert) - Runner-up at 5A 120 this season
126: Mitchell Lance (Piedmont) - Third place finish at 5A 126 this season
132: Colt Newton (Choctaw) - Finished third at 6A 132 this season
138: Cameron Picklo (Mustang) - Finished third at 138 this season
145: Kobi Gomez (Altus) - State champion at 5A 138 this season
152: Hunter Jump (Duncan) - State champion at 5A 160 after winning a state title at Lawton Mac as a junior
160: Rene Martinez (Putnam City) - Runner-up at 6A 160 this season
170: Zane Coleman (Choctaw) - Arizona State signee became a four-time state champion this season
182: Christian Maldonado (Lawton Mac) - State champion at 5A 170 this season
195: Carson Savage (Deer Creek) - Runner-up at 6A 195 this season
220: Jake McCoy (Edmond North) - Runner-up at 6A 220 this season
HWT: Josh Heindselman (Piedmont) - Became a two-time state champion by winning the 5A heavyweight crown this season
113: Kaleb Harris (Sallisaw)
120: Luke Montgomery (Bristow) - Finishied third at 4A 120 this season
126: Thaddeus Long (McLain) - Became the Titans’ first state champion since 1976 with a title at 4A 126
132: Wesley Scott (Pawnee) - Runner-up at 3A 132 this season
138: Price Perrier (Pawhuska) - Runner-up at 3A 138 this season
145: Trystian Shireman (Wagoner) - Finished third at 4A 138 this season
152: Hadyn Redus (Perry) - State champion at 3A 152 this season
160: Jacob Ahrberg (Cushing) - State champion at 4A 160 this season
170: Cade Shropshire (Checotah) - Two-time state champion for the Wildcats with the 3A 160 chamionship this season
182: River Simon (Vian) - Became a two-time state champion by winning the 3A 182 title this season
195: Eriq Simpson (Cushing) - Runner-up at 4A 195 this season
220: Drake Barbee (Blackwell) - State champion at 3A 195 this season
HWT: Teaguen Wilson (Perry) - Runner-up at 3A heavyweight this season
113: Remington White (Walters) - Former state champion was the 3A runner-up at 113 this season
120: Jaxon Miller (Comanche)
126: Logan Farrell (Tuttle) - Runner-up at 4A 126 this season
132: Kolton Smith (Bridge Creek) - Became the Bobcats’ first state champion by winning the 3A 126 title this season
138: Kobey Kizarr (Marlow) - State champion at 3A 138 this season
145: Val Park (Heritage Hall) - Became a three-time state champion by winning 4A 138 title this season
152: Alec McDoulett (Little Axe) - Runner-up at 3A 152 this season
160: Tyler Lavey (Marlow) - Runner-up at 3A 160 this season
170: Ethon Hamrick (Comanche)
182: Denver Dahlenburg (Hinton)
195: Carson Berryhill (Tuttle) - Won a second straight state championship by winning 4A 195 title this season
220: Cameron Gregg (Pauls Valley)
HWT: Ruben Guiterrez (Clinton) - Finished third at 4A heavyweight this season
**Photo courtesy of Austin Bernard/Owrestle.com
| 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.”
| 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.