By Andrew Glover
PERRY, Okla. —
Both Perry and Stillwater wrestling teams knew they were going to face tough competition in the Perry Tournament of Champions. Both schools rose above it as the Maroons were in first and Stillwater was in second with nine semifinalists.
“I’m pleased,” Perry coach Ronnie Delk said. “Could it have been better? Yes. We just need to get ready to work.”
“We have wrestled well today,” Stillwater coach Doug Chesbro said. “It was a tough tournament. You throw Union and Sand Springs in there it becomes a barnburner.”
The Pioneers scored 100 points after the quarterfinals. Tyler Dieringer (106), Andrew Nieman (113), Kaid Brock (132), Tristan Moran (138), Jordan Dieringer (182) each won by fall in the quarterfinals with Nieman’s victory coming against last season’s Class 3A state runner-up Dalton Revels of Perry.
“Those two are pretty evenly matched,” Chesbro said. “I think we took it to him for six minutes. I think it paid off, because when we scored to take the lead at the end, he didn’t have anything left because he wrestled defensively the whole time.”
Joe Smith, who was top seed in the 152-pound weight class, won by technical fall in the first round, won by pin in the second round and won by technical fall in the quarterfinals 19-4 against Ark City’s Kendall Biddle. Benny Teegarden won by technical fall and with a 12-6 decision in the quarterfinals over Edmond Memorial’s Seth Graves in the 126-pound weight class. Chase Lane won his quarterfinals match with an 8-7 decision in the 145-pound weight class against Grant Williams of Owasso. Chesbro said several of his wrestlers had top performances.
“We got a lot of kids that are getting bonus points along the way too,” Chesbro said. “Chase Lane is going to win a lot of matches because of his experience and wrestling intelligence. ... We are getting bonus points from Tristan, Joe and Kaid.”
After the quartefinals, Perry scored 133 points and sent nine wrestlers to the semifinals. Noah Nida advanced in the 120-pound weight class. He won his first-round match over Ark City’s Saul Garcia by fall in the second period, then defeated Stillwater’s Mason Mefford by a 5-2 decision. In the quarterfinals, Nida beat Owasso’s Hunter Smith by fall in the third period. Colton Looper, who won an individual title last season, advanced in the 152-pound weight class. In the second round, Looper defeated Caleb Blackwell from Choctaw with a pin late in the first period. The senior pinned Tulsa Union’s Isaac Barr to advance to the semifinals. Looper will face Muskogee’s Dawaylon Barnes for a spot in the finals on Saturday. David Thomas won two bouts by fall to advance to the 160-pound semifinals and will face Ark City’s Chris Smith. Garrett Beier, who was the top-seed in the 195-pound weight class, advanced with a victory by fall and a 12-0 major decision victory. The senior will face teammate Matt Jones in the semifinals.
“Our studs, Colton Looper, Hunter Condit and David Thomas wrestled outstanding and did what leaders do,” Delk said. “Riley (Betchan) getting a pin, which is good for him. Dillion Buck wrestled at 182 and are in the semifinals. Noah Nida wrestled outstanding.”
Revels was one of several losses for Perry in the quarterfinals. Cale Betchan (106) lost in the quarterfinals to Drew Wilson 7-0. Zane Johnson, who was a state qualifier last season, lost in the 126-pound quarterfinals by a 13-1 major decision to Alex Nelson of Guthrie. Blake Avery, who went to state with Perkins-Tryon last season, lost in the 132-pound quarterfinals to Tulsa Union’s Luke Wolfenberger by fall. Delk said those wrestlers need to play for the team score.
Chesbro said while he is pleased with Friday’s performance, he knows Saturday is where the tournament is decided.
“Getting nine in the semifinals is great,” Chesbro said. “Unless you get five or six into the finals, it’s going to be a dog fight to the end.”