The Deer Creek Antlers saw a duet of individual regional wrestling winners headline a class of five total state qualifiers this weekend in the Class 6A East Regional held at Broken Arrow High School.
The five state qualifying wrestlers meant Deer Creek finished fourth overall in the team standings. They amassed 133 total team points, with the hosting Broken Arrow winning with 294.5 points. Deer Creek was the only Edmond-area 6A school to be sent east for regional contention.
Deer Creek’s 120-pound Jason Gilbert and 138-pound Cade Manion won their respective regional weight brackets this weekend.
Gilbert won on big point-differentials through his first two matches. After receiving a first-round bye, Gilbert tech-falled Union’s Adam Lohmann 24-9 before Creek’s 120-pound grappler grabbed a successful, 7-3 decision to qualify for the regional finals. He took a single-point, 1-nil decision win over Broken Arrow’s Bryce Cockrell to take the 120-pound regional title.
Manion made his early efforts on pin-falls. He bested Ponca City’s Ryker Agee with a first-period, 54-second win. Manion followed that with a second-period pin of Owasso’s Bryson Perez before a 3-0 decision in the semifinals saw him vying for the 138 title. He took that title by pin, too, besting Broken Arrow’s 27-win wrestler Jared Hill on a move in the third-period.
Joining Manion and Gilbert in qualifying for the upcoming 6A state tournament were teammates Hudson Neely, Micah Lugafet, and Jacob Sexton.
Neeley and Lugafet each saw third-place finishes across the 132- and 152-pound weight brackets, respectively. Neeley won five of his six weekend regional matches on four pin-falls and a 13-12 decision win in the consolation semifinals. Neeley’s third-place winning contest ended when he recorded a second-period fall against Ponca City’s Gabriel Roland.
Lugafet’s third-place grabbing run saw only one early-ending for the Antlers’ 152-pound wrestler. Instead, he won on a major, 17-4 decision after a bye slotted him into the quarterfinals automatically. He suffered a 4-2 decision loss to Broken Arrow’s William Martin in the semifinals, but a tech-fall, 16-1 victory in the consolation semifinals set him up for his lone pin-fall victory that came in the third place match against Jenks’ Bryce Fisher. Lugafet fell Fisher in the first period.
Finally, Deer Creek’s heavyweight Jacob Sexton finished fourth at 285 after picking up each of his three regional victories on pin-fall moves.