Mannford, OK 74044
Record: 3-7 | Unranked
|@ Heritage Hall||L||40-13|
|vs Bridge Creek||W||62-25|
|@ John Marshall||L||68-17|
|vs Mt. Saint Mary||W||29-14|
| Ben Johnson
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Zane Coleman stepped off the podium and started fielding multiple requests. Everyone inside Jim Norick Arena wanted to snap a photo with the newest member of the four-time state champion club.
The Choctaw senior joined the exclusive membership with a 1-0 victory over Broken Arrow’s Bryce Mattioda, making it 37 wrestlers to be share the lofty accomplishment.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Coleman, the 170-pound senior who did it with his dad, Benny Coleman, coaching him to all four championships. “I dreamed about this forever, and now that it’s come true I couldn’t be happier.”
Finishing as Class 6A’s Most Outstanding Wrestler of the state tournament capped Coleman’s career and wrapped up a 41-1 season. He’ll soon depart for Tempe, Arizona, where he’ll join the Arizona Sun Devils program.
“They have a great coaching staff,” Zane Coleman said, “and I think we’re the No. 2 recruiting class right now, so we have good things coming.”
Class 3A wrap-up
Perry wins another title; Bridge Creek claims first individual crowns
The state’s preeminent wrestling program did what it normally does to end each wrestling season: pose with a trophy to memorialize another team championship. For Perry, that’s now 43 team championships. The closest to the Maroons? Tuttle and Midwest City with 16.
“It’s pretty awesome to win as a team,” Perry’s Ryan Smith told the Stillwater NewsPress. “Since I’ve been a freshman, we’ve won every year. All of my teammates did what they’re supposed to do.”
Smith picked up one of three individual championships for the Maroons. Smith beat Walters’ Remington White, 4-2, to capture the 113 title. Dylan Avery (132) and Hadyn Redus (152) claimed the Maroons other two championships.
- Smith, DePron lead Bridge Creek: The Bridge Creek Bobcats had waited long enough, so Kolton Smith made sure to make quick of his opponent. Smith, at 126 pounds, pinned Marlow’s Anthony Orum in 58 seconds to claim Bridge Creek’s first individual championship.
Then Kolby DePron followed at 145 with another title, picking up a 10-8 victory over Geary’s Landon Holt to double up the Bobcats’ hardward in one evening.
“It feels insane,” DePron said. “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. … I hardly remember the match. Just an adrenaline rush; I went out and barfed everywhere.”
- Marlow finishes second: Perry was too far out of reach, but Marlow still made plenty of noise in the championship matches on Saturday night. Tyler Lawson (106) picked up a title with a 6-2 over Vian’s Braylen Rodgers, and Kobey KIzarr pinned Pawhuska’s Price Perrier at 6:57 to pick up the Outlaws second title.
Perry topped the 3A leaderboard with Marlow in second place with 91 points.
- Other 3A titles: Vinita’s Alex Prince won the 120 crown with an 8-3 win over Newkirk’s Dayton Cary. Sperry’s Bryce Carter beat Comanche’s Cade Cook 6-4 at 170 pounds. Blackwell’s Drake Barbee (182) pinned Inola’s Brody Jenkins at 2:33.
All three became first-time champions.
Checotah’s Cade Shrosphire beat Marlow’s Tyler Lavey, 3-2, in an ultimate tiebreaker. Vian’s River Simon (182) pinned Perry’s Kohl Owen at 3:41. Comanche’s Konner Doucet picked up a 15-0 technical fall over Berryhill’s Nico Lopez for the 220 crown, and Davis’ Cooper Webb won the heavyweight crown by pinning Perry’s Teaguan Wilson at 1:20. All four became repeat champions. It was the second for Shrosphire, Simon and Webb, and Doucet picked up his third in three years. He’ll attempt to become a four-time state champion as a senior next season.
Class 4A wrap-up
Long breaks McLain’s title drought; Tuttle picks up title No. 16
McLain’s TJ Long put the Titans back on the wrestling map at State Fair Arena. In perhaps the match of the night, Long went back and forth with Tuttle’s Logan Farrell in the 126-pound title bout before ultimately picking up a 12-10 win in sudden victory.
It was McLain’s first individual championship since 1977 (Greg Hawkins at 178 pounds).
“It sounds like I just wrote my name in the record books,” Long said.
Long, last year’s runner-up at 126 pounds, capped his senior season at 36-0.
“I lost in the finals last year,” Long said. “And I said, ‘that’s not happening this year. I’m known for clutch situations, so I was like, ‘I got this.’”
- Tuttle wins again: There was never a doubt -- even before the weekend started -- as to who would claim the 4A championship. Tuttle made it look easy again, claiming 229 points to cruise to its 16th championship in its program’s history.
“I transferred to Tuttle my eighth grade year to experience this, and it’s great,” said Plott, ranked third nationally at 170 pounds. “The group of guys we have right now is like a family. We hang out a lot, and we’re all really close.”
Garrett Steidley (113), Ryder Ramsey (132), Brady DeArmond (145), Luke Surber (152), Plott and Carson Berryhill (195) each picked up individual crowns for the Tigers. Reese Davis (120), Farrell (126), Bryce Dauphin (138), Harley Andrews (160) and Kavan Guffey (182) were all runners-up at their respective weights.
-- Cascia Hall sophomore Eli Griffin picked up a 9-1 major decision win over Cushing Luke Ahrberg for his second title in two years. The Commandos have claimed at least one individual title every year since Mike Bizzle won the school’s first in 2002.
-- Heritage Hall’s Val Park beat Dauphin 3-0 for his third consecutive championship. He became the school’s fourth wrestler to win at least three individual championships, with Rodrick Mosley being the most recent with his title at 152 last season.
-- Cushing picked it first individual championships since 2014. Jacob Ahrberg finished the season 26-0 with a 9-8 win over Tuttle’s Harley Andrews. Gage Hockett followed at 182 and beat Tuttle’s Kavan Guffey 3-2 in an tiebreaker. Hockett finished the season 32-0.
-- Bristow’s Luke Fortney pinned Poteau’s Seth Ford at 3:06 to claim the 220 championship, Bristow’s first since 2007.
-- Other 4A champions included Wagoner’s Braden Drake (120) and Blanchard’s Ryder Wiese at heavyweight.
Class 5A wrap-up
Collinsville, Skiatook split 5A title; Borror wins for a 3rd time
The pressure was sitting squarely on Korbin McLaughlin’s shoulders. The Skiatook senior needed a victory at 220 pounds for the Bulldogs to have a chance at the Class 5A championship.
Collinsville was leading Skiatook 137 to 133, and a win by decision by McLaughlin would be enough to pull the Bulldogs even. Anything better than that would give Skiatook the championship outright, two weeks after celecrating a dual state title in Shawnee.
McLaughlin wound up beating Claremore’s Seth Seago, 4-1, meaning Skiatook and Collinsville both left Jim Norick Arena with first-place honors.
Collinsville finished with four individual champions, including junior Caleb Tanner (132) beating Skiatook’s Cody Francis, 9-0, for his third title in three years. Two Cardinal freshmen claimed their first titles: Cameron Steed (106) and Jordan Williams (113). Rocky Stephens (120) followed with a title by posting an 8-0 win over Carl Albet’s Jayston Cato.
Skiatook sophomore Josh Taylor (126) picked up his second championship in as many seasons with a 9-3 win over Collinsville’s Jordan Cullors. Then the Bulldogs’ Cougar Anderson capped an unbeaten season (38-0) by pinning Piedmont’s Landis Scoon at 4:36 for the 152 crown.
For Collinsville, it’s the Cardinals’ second straight championship, and Skiatook claimed its first title since 1987.
- Borror bests 182 field: Piedmont’s Austin Cooley jumped out to an early lead against Coweta’s Talon Borror. But Borror didn’t let that last long, rallying to pin Cooley at 2:43 to pick up his third consecutive championship.
“There’s a lot of hard work that goes into it,” Borror said. “Now it’s time call it a career.”
Well, high school career, that is. Borror wrapped up his senior varsity stint at 38-2 and now will head to Norman and join the Sooners.
“We’re building a good team and have a lot of good recruits coming in,” Borror said. “Looking to make a run at the top.”
- Hicks prevails for Durant’s 1st title: Durant’s Cody Hicks trailed early on, but he rallied for a 6-4 win over Glenpool’s Gage Hight. Now Hicks will forever be known as the first Durant wrestler to win an individual championship for the Lions.
And he celebrated accordingly by jumping into his brother’s arms.
“He’s eight years older than me, and he’s always worked with us,” Hicks said of his brother, Colby. “(To jump into his arms) was an amazing moment.”
-- Other 5A champions included Altus’ Kobi Gomez (138), Lawton Mac’s Christiain Maldonado (170) and Matthew Santos (195) and Duncan’s Hunter Jump (160), a former champion at Lawton Mac before moving to Duncan.
Piedmont’s Josh Heindselman, named 5A's most outstanding wrestler, also picked up his second state championship at heavyweight by pinning Lawton Mac’s Montana Phillips at 3:13.
Class 6A wrap-up
Tigers back on top with 6A crown; Mustang nabs 4 titles
If there’s ever a constant about Class 6A, it’s that the teams like to pass around the team championship. Sure enough, it was Broken Arrow’s turn again with the Tigers claiming their first crown since 2015.
Broken Arrow was the lone 6A team to crack the 100-point barrier and compiled 158 points by weekend’s end. Mustang was second with 96, and Choctaw was third at 75.
The Tigers’ Jackson Cockrell (113) and Jared Hill (120) both lost in the finals before Reece Witcraft registered Broken Arrow’s first individual title at 132. Witcraft toppled Owasso’s Zeke Washington -- for the second week in a row -- with a 6-3 decision for his second straight state championship.
Broken Arrow sophomore Emmanuel Skillings (182) nabbed his first championship with a 5-1 victory over Owasso’s Taylor Fleming, and then Zach Marcheselli (220) etched his name into the Oklahoma record book with his fourth state championship. He made history by beating Edmond North’s Jake McCoy 10-4 in his final varsity match.
For Broken Arrow, that’s now two four-time state champions after Brandon Tucker accomplished the feat from 2000 to 2003.
- Mustang crowns 4: Mustang threw the biggest party on the outskirts of the 6A mat inside State Fair Arena on Saturday night. It had been since 2005 that the Broncos snared an individual state championship, so Mustang made sure to celebrate accordingly for each of the four titles.
Tucker Owens (113) claimed Mustang’s first title with a 9-0 victory over Cockrell of Broken Arrow. Then John Wiley, the No. 4 seed out of the West Regional, picked up a 5-1 win over Stillwater’s Carter Young for title No. 2 for Mustang.
Tate Picklo followed at 160 and pinned Putnam City’s Rene Martinez to cap off an unbeaten 43-0 season. The Broncos’ final state title was courtesy of Judson Rowland and his last-second, 11-10 win over Deer Creek’s Carson Savage.
-- Choctaw claimed three individual championships. Coleman won at 170, Gabe Johnson (145) knocked off Deer Creek’s Micah Lugafet, 9-4, and heavyweight Marquonn Journey beat Jenks’ Caleb Orr, 3-1.
- Other 6A champions included:
-- Bixby’s Zach Blankenship: Won the 120 title as a freshman with a pin of Broken Arrow’s Jared Hill at 5:12.
-- Ponca City’s Spencer Schickram picked up the 138 title with a 10-0 major decision over Broken Arrow’s Blake Gonzalez.
-- Jenks junior Drake Vannoy picked up his second championship by beating Sand Springs’ Scott Patton, 5-1.
| Ben Johnson
EMAIL ME - firstname.lastname@example.org | 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.