Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

January 21, 2013

Sooners pin Mountaineers at home

NORMAN — Oklahoma pinned down West Virginia 25-14 Sunday afternoon at McCasland Field House and it was good for the Sooners to respond with a victory following Friday night’s disappointing loss at Northern Iowa.

So, there’s that.

Also, there’s the fact the Sooners have only three regular season duals remaining, and none of them at home, to get ready for their three most important dates of the season: the National Duals, the Big 12 Championships and the NCAA Championships.

Or, maybe, put another way, time is short to get the entirety of the Sooner roster to take a page out of Bubby Graham’s book.

“There’s an urgency to him,” said OU wrestling coach Mark Cody of OU’s fourth-ranked 165-pounder, “and that’s what we want to get through to the rest of the team.”

Graham was good Friday when many of his teammates struggled, topping UNI’s Jarrett Jensin 9-4, and he was better Sunday, topping Dominic Prezzia 14-3.

Kenny Mossman, who used to run OU’s athletic media relations office before being moved up to senior associate athletic director, has a nickname for Graham.

“The Price of Admission,” Mossman said.

That’s because what distinguishes Graham is his motor. It’s always running and it’s always running hot. Typically, he’s the most active Sooner on the mat.

“It’s fun to wrestle hard,” he said. “It’s fun to come off the mat exhausted.”

An NCAA qualifier last season, Graham did not place. But in his fifth year under Cody’s tutelage — Graham moved to Norman from American University when Cody moved to Norman from American University — he is 16-2 in his final collegiate season after delivering on Senior Day against the Mountaineers.

“It’s only been two years (at OU),” said Graham, a Maryland native, “but it feels like it could have been my whole career … It’s been an amazing experience. Even being in Oklahoma itself. It’s got great people.”

Sunday was a typical effort.

Graham never quit scoring, settling for a single takedown in the first period, but getting two more in the second and two more again in the third. Each of Prezzia’s three points came on escapes Graham willingly conceded.

Graham knows his grappling style isn’t the safest, that constant aggressiveness can open himself up to being scored upon, but he understands it as a small price for his aggressiveness.

“I don’t stop wrestling,” he said. “If it feels right, I do it.”

It’s the style Cody’s trying to foster in his second year running the Sooner program.

“We need them to keep attacking,” Cody said. “And I think that’s been the problem for some of our guys. We get to a point and then we stop.”

But not Graham.

“If he makes a mistake,” the coach said, “you know he’s going to come back.”

Sunday, there were a few signs the message might be getting through.

Kendric Maple, unbeaten and ranked No. 1 at 141 pounds, who probably doesn’t need to take a page out of anybody’s book, collected a 10-2 major decision over 14th-ranked Nathan Pennesi.

Nick Lester, however, seemed to offer a new aggressiveness in his 17-0 technical fall over Timothy Wheeling. Lester, ranked No. 11, entered just 7-5 over his previous 12 bouts, but scored early and often against his Mountaineer opponent.

“We really got on him,” Cody said of his communication with Lester following the 149-pounder’s underwhelming 5-0 victory at UNI two days earlier.

Then, at 157, the spot typically held down by 14th-ranked Matt Lester, Cody went with Justin DeAngelis instead. DeAngelis responded with an 18-2 technical fall over Jason Luster.

“That spot is still not set yet,” Cody said.

Time will tell if there’s room for turnover at any other spots, but one thing’s pretty certain. If the Sooners want to impress their coach, they’ve got a good senior role model at 165 pounds.

“So far,” Graham said, “I feel like I’m wrestling hard.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • ropin-make-a-wish.jpg Dirteater, others help Make-A-Wish

    The event will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Tickets are $5, with kids 6 and under free.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Photo-for-Shinn-story.jpg Coaches preview Sooners season

    Toby Rowland addressed the elephant in the room even before Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel arrived at Journey Church on Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Date set for Keys football physicals

    Before scheduled practices can begin in order to prepare for the season, players must first receive a physical.
    Next Tuesday, Aug. 5, Keys High School will be administering physicals in the high school cafeteria.

    July 31, 2014

  • Keys-Dakota.jpg Playing both sides of the line

    Recently, Keys High School football standout Dakota Matlock was nearly severely injured in a terrifying car wreck.

    Matlock is coming off a stellar gridiron season for Keys High School. On offense, Matlock ran for over 1,000 yards for the Cougars. In his sophomore season, Matlock led Keys in tackles from the safety position.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bassmaster.jpg Crossing, and fishing, the Delaware

    Bassmaster Elite Series anglers to compete Aug. 7

    BASS has fished out of some legendary venues over the years (including Chicago, Detroit and New Orleans), but never Philadelphia, which is host of the Bassmaster Elite at Delaware River, Aug. 7-10, 2014.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mison.jpg Mixon’s attorney says incident with woman self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hooper.jpg Sparking the flame

    Sequoyah High School’s Justin Hooper looking to lead this year

    Last season was Justin’s last chance to play alongside Cody at Sequoyah High School.
    Justin had to battle to win the Indians starting tailback. The coaching staff did not know who was going to be the Indians starting running back coming into fall practice.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NSU-fishing-team.jpg NSU teams compete in fishing tournament

    Three teams from Northeastern State University’s Bass Fishing Team competed in the Fishing League Worldwide College Fishing Tournament on Grand Lake in Grove on Saturday, June 21.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Johnson, East win easily at All-State

    Jake Johnson was able to hold off Lawton MacArthur’s Trent Meisel at the Class 5A state tournament in May. On Monday at the All-State tournament at Cherokee Hills Golf Club, Johnson had it much easier against Meisel.

    July 29, 2014

  • McMillan-blackboard.jpg Hometown brothers team up for RiverHawks football

    Northeastern State’s football program will include a pair of hometown brothers for the 2014 season.
    Mason McMillan returns for his sophomore season, and this year he will be reunited with his younger brother, Kourtland. The brothers graduated from Tahlequah High School – Mason in 2013, followed by Kourtland in 2014. At Tahlequah, Mason and Kourtland shared the gridiron for one season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Stocks