Special to The Sun
Although school was not back in session, wrestling teams prepared over the break and converged on the small town of Geary to compete in the oldest wrestling tournament in the nation. This year’s tournament included teams from Texas and New Mexico along with the toughest teams from Oklahoma. The Geary tournament features teams ranging from smaller 3A schools all the way up to the largest 6A schools, and all the wrestlers are put into the brackets using a blind draw system. This means that several top wrestlers meet in the very first round.
For the second-ranked Edmond North Huskies, this tournament was the first time they faced the top-ranked Broken Arrow Tigers. Edmond North held a slight edge after the first two rounds of competition, but in the end, the three-time defending state champion Tigers pulled away to win the team title while Edmond North finished second followed by Lawton MacArthur.
“Although we would have liked to win the team title, I am very proud of our team’s performance,” North coach Andy Schneider said. “This is the highest we have ever placed at this tournament, so we are heading in the right direction, and next week we will see Broken Arrow again at the Sapulpa Tournament.”
Making the finals for the third straight time this year were Lance Dixon, Joel Dixon and Andrew Dixon. Lance Dixon scored two takedowns to defeat Broken Arrow’s Brock Warren and pick up first place. Joel Dixon kept his undefeated record intact with a dominating major decision win in the finals. Also undefeated, Andrew Dixon cruised to his second straight Geary title and won the award for the most falls in the least amount of time. Derek White had a breakout performance this weekend, scoring a technical fall win in the finals for his first tournament title of the year.
“Derek has been coming to this tournament since his freshman year and had never even made it to the second day. He’s wrestling with a lot of confidence right now and I’m excited to see him continue to improve,” Schneider said.
Senior Josh Breece also made the finals for North, but fell 5-3 in overtime to Norman North’s Hayden Hansen. Breece had a tough first-round draw against the state runner-up from Union, Luke Wolfenberger. He was behind 3-1 in the third period when he took Wolfenberger down to his back and got the pin.
“Josh is one of our hardest workers in the room and it shows in the way he wrestles the whole match. His loss in the finals was on a controversial takedown, but I’m confident Josh will go back to the practice room and use that loss to improve on.”
Also medaling for the Huskies was Cy Trindle who finished third and Jordan Armstrong who placed fifth.
Edmond Memorial was also entered in the tournament, finishing 18th as a team with lone placer and champion, Alec Warren at 138 pounds. He gained 16 of Memorial’s 22 team points, defeated four opponents by decision and bumped his season record to 9-1.
“Alec wrestled very well for his first time down to 138,” Memorial coach Darren Huff said.
Memorial only brought six wrestlers to the tournament due to missed practices over the break, Huff said.
“We feel this tournament should inspire them to work harder and make some sacrifices and plan to practice when other teams are,” he said. “We just need a little more dedication and discipline and we can be a pretty tough team. The guys that went wrestled very well this weekend.
“Jonah Moore wrestled tough but just got behind early in a couple of matches and didn’t quite catch up. Jacob Vana and Moore had a couple falls for us and scored the team some points. ... We’re very pleased with their determination and effort. Geary’s a tough tournament, and a tough tournament to place in.”
Huff said his wrestlers gained valuable experience that will help them down the road. Memorial’s Jeremy Morgan, Cole Boker and Ryley West did not place but wrestled well at times.
“But at Geary, you have to wrestle well all of the time, every time,” he said.
Memorial travels to Lawton Eisenhower today, while North welcomes Yukon.
Bulldogs place 6 at El Reno
Six Edmond Memorial wrestlers placed at El Reno over the weekend.
Denton Huff at heavyweight and Ashton Stovall at 120 pounds placed first. Alton Pettit was second at 160 pounds, and LaDaryn Lockett was third at 152. Nick Becker (138) and Joey Bingham (126) placed fourth.
“We wrestled well at some weights,” Huff said. “We are pleased with bringing home two champions. Those two really fought to bring home the gold. Denton pinned his opponent in the finals. Alton wrestled really well, only losing one match in the finals and then having to defend his second-place finish by winning a challenge match.
“LaDaryn is really getting tough. This is only his second year and he is getting tougher every day. For the most part we wrestled with a lot of intensity. This time of year we aren’t in great shape, but our guys wrestle tough. A lot of guys are young or haven’t wrestled to much, and they really went out and gave their best. It’s a great starting place to see what they need to work on and how much they need to push to get in shape. We are pleased with their effort.”