This is what Edmond Memorial wrestling head coach Will Delk tasked his Bulldogs with for the season.
“Don’t be satisfied with a 3-2 win or a 5-3 win. Go out and start dominating the second you step on the mat. Expect to win.”
Early in the season, it looks like the Bulldogs are doing just that, as they’ve started out 3-0 with dual wins over top programs in the state.
Last season Delk helped two Bridge Creek wrestlers win the school’s first ever state championship, and this year at Memorial, he’s already on track to pick up where he left off.
Memorial started off their season with a 51-23 win over 3A’s top-ranked team, Perry. The Maroons have a historic wrestling program, and a win there was certainly a way to separate themselves to start the season.
“Traditionally, Perry is always dominant, and can always compete with any level,” Delk said.” For us to start out our season with a win there was really huge. It helps with belief in themselves and trying to keep going into the second part of the season.”
In their second dual of the season, Memorial hosted Yukon, who was ranked twelfth in class 6A. The Bulldogs beat the Millers 41-27.
To round out their current 3-0 record, the Bulldogs handedly beat Ponca City, 62-12, on an away trip.
Cruz Aguilar and Garrett Johnson have both had hot starts for Memorial, and have led the way in the 113-lb. and 120-lb. weight division for the Bulldogs. After their 3-0 start in Oklahoma, they traveled to the Minnesota Christmas Tournament, where Aguilar dominated everyone he wrestled, including his nationally ranked opponent, which he beat by major decision in the finals of the 40-team tournament. Aguilar won state at the 106 lb. class last year for Memorial. He was just the second in school history alongside Jonny Hendrix, who was a Div. I champion and All-American at Oklahoma State University.
The Bulldogs have found their way into the top teams in the state, and are ranked seventh in total points among class 6A teams. Broken Arrow at 3-0 leads the way with 180 points, followed by Mustang, Choctaw, intercity rival Edmond North with 122, Sand Springs, Stillwater then Memorial.
While making dual-state is certainly a goal for Delk and his Bulldogs, his main goal is much more unifying than that.
“Honestly, just everyone wrestling at their highest level at the end of the year. I wanna see kids that have never qualified for the state tournament qualify, and those who have qualified in the past find a way to get themselves on a podium.”
The Bulldogs next dual will be at 6 p.m. Jan. 7 in Piedmont, the No. 3 ranked team in class 5A. They’ll then head to the Geary Tournament Jan. 10, before their rival matches against Edmond Santa Fe and North at 6 and 7 p.m. on Jan. 16.