Tahlequah Daily Press

February 15, 2013

Wrestling regional preview capsules

Quick look at regional tournaments around the state.

By BEN JOHNSON
Sports Editor

— 3A east (at Berryhill)

The favorite: Newkirk. There are several teams that could win the regional crown, but the Tigers have the most firepower. Brian Brown (106), Briar Stopp (113), Eric Juanes (120), Jared Schieber (145), Jacob Vap (160) and Chase Glenn (220) form a nucleus that came in second last season at regionals behind eventual state champion Blackwell.



Other contenders: Berryhill, Jay, Vian. An argument could be made to even toss Locust Grove in the contending mix, thanks to guys like Cub Yeager (120). Berryhill will make a run for the crown with Trey Jimenez (113), Jonce Blaylock (138), Davey Dolan (145) and Tyler Hudson (195). Vian's combination of Landon Decker (160), Rowdy Simon (182), Cale Mays (195) and Tre Locust (heavyweight) will make the Wolverines strong. And while Jay may not have top-billing wrestlers, Treyson January (106), Trestin January (113), Derick Shrum (126) and Brian Deleon (145) should make the Bulldogs strong.

Other wrestlers to watch: Caleb Hawes (195) of Barnsdall could give Hudson a run for the money. Hawes was a state runner-up last season at 182. ... Marlon Houston, Jr. (182) finished first at Bristow and Cushing this season and also third at Tuttle. ... Tyson Hume (113) and DJ Wofford (heavyweight) should give Webbers Falls a chance at two state-tournament spots.

Local wrestlers to watch: Keys' Brent Gladd (120), Seth Fritts (138) and Kenneth Brown (160) give the Cougars three chances at picking up a state-tournament berth for the first time in school history. ... Bryson McGowan (195) finished second at the Inola tournament and second at the Maverick Conference Tournament, and he should be in line for a state-tournament ticket.



Other regionals around the state

6A east (at Bixby)

The favorite: Broken Arrow. The Tigers, winners of the last three Class 6A titles, look to repeat as regional champs, too. Markus Simmons (120), Zack Edwards (132), Tanner Bailey (145) and Paden Bailey (152) provide a solid nucleus for a Broken Arrow team that won the team title at the Geary tournament during the regular season.

Other contenders: Union, Sapulpa, Stillwater. All three have talented rosters, but not likely enough to keep up with Broken Arrow. The biggest battle among the three could come at 126 pounds with Benny Teagarden (Stillwater), Corey Jones (Sapulpa) and Luke Wolfenberger (Union) vying for the regional crown. Stillwater will also have Kennedy Monday (106), Kaid Brock (113) and Joe Smith (132) in the title mix. Sapulpa's Eston Jones (113), Shae Conley (138) and Kristian Mendez (170) will be contenders, too.

Other wrestlers to watch: Bartlesville's Michael Hamilton (152) was a regional champion and state runner-up last year. ... Cody Karstetter adds to the depth of the 120-pound field. He was the state runner-up at 106 last year, and he finished second at both the Jenks and Yukon tournaments this season. ... Ponca City's Jonathon Bond is solid at 170, finishing first at Perry's Tournament of Champions in December.



6A west (at Midwest City)

The favorite: Edmond North. The Huskies, coming off a dual state title last weekend, finished second at regionals and fourth at the state tournament last year. The triplets — Lance Dixon (182), Joel Dixon (195) and Andrew Dixon (220) — will make Edmond North hard to beat.

Other contenders: Muskogee and Southmoore. Dawaylon Barnes (145), Jacobe Smith (160), JT Andrews (170) should all be in the title mix for Muskogee, which won the Jenks tournament, finished second at the 4+4 tournament in Stillwater and came in fifth at the loaded Yukon tournament. Southmoore will be represented by Zac Damico (120) and Nathan Marek (170).

Other wrestlers to watch: Moore's Derek Sivertsen (182) will have to contend with Lance Dixon but should be a state title qualifier. ... Carlos Freeman (heavyweight) of Midwest City is one of several Bombers who have a chance at reaching the state tournament. ... Norman North's Hayden Hansen (126) could make a splash in one of the lower weights.



5A west (at Duncan)

The favorite: Lawton MacArthur. The Highlanders pushed Collinsville to the limit at dual state last weekend and will almost certainly be looking to atone for a 1/2-point loss to Altus at last year's regional tournament. Cole Powers (120), Colby Powers (126), Adrian Gaines (132), Brok Williams (138) and Garrett Shaw (220) a tough combination to deal with.

Other contenders: Altus and Duncan. Lawton Mac, Altus and Duncan have went toe to toe at both the Geary and Carl Albert tournaments during the regular season. Both times Lawton Mac won, with Altus second and Duncan third. Altus, the state runner-up last year to Collinsville, will deploy Montorie Bridges (106), Cameron Loving (152), Kellan Torres (160) and Sean Carson (195) in its attempt to go after Lawton Mac. Duncan's Markawae Sanders (113), Hunter Kelley (132), Connor Kelley (145) and Christian Carnahan (152) will keep the Demons in the hunt.

Other wrestlers to watch: Guthrie's Bryan Dutton (145), who won bronze at last year's state tournament, is likely headed for a finals showdown with Connor Kelley. ... Connoor Howard (220) beat Lawton Mac's in the finals at the Carl Albert tournament. The two could meet again in the regional finals. ... Chickasha's Jacoby Brown and Blake Finley of Guthrie could have a repeat of the finals in the Carl Albert tournament at heavyweight. Brown won 2-1 back then.



4A east (at Glenpool)

The favorite: Vinita. The Hornets have hung tough against 5A and 6A teams in tournaments this season, and they are coming off a second-place finish at dual state. Dustin Hayes (106), Grant Martin (113), Braden Hayes (120), Kaleb Phillips (220) and JW Williams (heavyweight) led a team that will also be solid in picking up points in the overlooked consolation bracket.

Other contenders: Cascia Hall, Wagoner and Sallisaw. In quite possibly the deepest of all the regional sites, Cascia Hall will be led by Cody Lambert (106), Scout Skidgel (113), Josh Watkins (126) and Kyle Driscoll (152). Wagoner, which won Coweta tournament and Maverick Conference tournament titles this season, will counter with Travis Greer (106), Alex Lockwood (113), Brad Boswell (145), Fischer Medlin (160), Roman Rodriguez (182) and Derek Marshall (220). For Sallisaw, Cale Wilson (170) and Jadon Davenport (195) will keep the Black Diamonds in the mix.

Other wrestlers to watch: Miami's Eli Hale (126), an Oklahoma State signee, should win the regional crown and then look to improve upon his second-place showing at the state tournament last season. ... Tyler Tustin (138) of Poteau will look to repeat his regional and state titles from last year. ... Wyatt Sheets (126) and Keaton Sheets (152) will have their work cut out for them against Hale and Driscoll, respectively, but the Stilwell pair should make a push for regional titles.



4A west (at Weatherford)

The favorite: Tuttle. Until someone can derail Tuttle in 4A, the Tigers will continue to be the favorite to win everything. Tuttle is coming off yet another dual state championship, and the Tigers will be tough to beat with Blake Dauphin (113), Gunner Laffoon (132), Dakota Head (145), Austin Elam (160), Zachary Beard (170), Riley Fielder (182) and Nate Jackson (heavyweight) in the lineup.

Other contenders: Cushing and Mannford. Cushing has been chasing Tuttle all year with Daniel Hood (113) leading the way. Mason Roberts (126), Ryan Moline (145) and Daniel Rowell (160) also bolster the Tigers' lineup. For Mannford, Steven Cole (106), Kaleb Furr (120) and Luke May (182) provide a solid foundation.

Other wrestlers to watch: Raul Vasquez (120) and Tyler Sanchez (126) give Weatherford two solid candidates to qualify for the state tournament. ... Blanchard's Braden Stringer (170) could wind up in the finals against Beard. ... Harrah's Jace Curry will likely headline the group at 138.



3A west (at Kingfisher)

The favorite: Perry. The dual state champs are stacked as always with the likes of Dalton Revels (106), Noah Nida (120), Hunter Condit (138), Colton Looper (145), David Thomas (160), Garrett Beier (182) and Kyle Varley (225).

Other contenders: Blackwell. The Maroons, last year's state champion, lost nine seniors from last year's club, but Sam Schuermann (170) and Tanner Allen (heavyweight) anchor a formidable lineup.

Other wrestlers to watch: Comanche's Jon Townsend (132) won a state title last year and should likely dominate amid the regional field. ... Heritage Hall's Finn Higgins (182) and Ethan Walker (195) will likely pick up two state-tournament spots for the private school.