Tahlequah's head wrestling coach, Travis Kirby, attended the 2018 USA World Combat Wrestling Nationals this past weekend in St. Louis.
"I first found out about this tournament through a couple of friends who competed in it before," Kirby said.
Kirby competed in the men's 74 kg where he had a three-man round robin bracket.
"The tournament went well," he said. "I'll admit I wasn't as prepared as I should have been. This style of wrestling known as Catch Wrestling hasn't been a thing in the U.S. for very many years. It's a mixture of Jujitsu and wrestling. I was the second match of the day, which wasn't ideal because I didn't have time to watch and see how the rules played out since I didn't understand all the rules. My first match was a huge learning tool. There were guys from all over the U.S. there competing for a spot."
Combat wrestling is Japan's version of submission wrestling. Unlike Freestyle or Greco-Roman, Combat wrestling is a hybrid form of wrestling in which a match could end via points or 'tap out' due to a submission hold.
Kirby walked away with a silver medal and earned a spot to represent, not only the U.S., but Tahlequah and Oklahoma as well.
"I'm definitely excited, and this is a great opportunity," Kirby said.
World Championships will take place in Missouri, Oct. 20-21.