By Andrew Glover
STILLWATER, Okla. —
With the regular season drawing to a close, the Stillwater High School and Perry High School wrestling teams will face some tough competition in the Big 4+4 Tournament Saturday in Blackwell.
Stillwater, Perry, Blackwell and Ponca City make up the Big 4. The other teams competing are Claremore, Muskogee, Altus and Choctaw. Everyone except Altus competed in Perry’s Tournament of Champions in December.
“We’ve seen all of them,” Stillwater coach Doug Chesbro said. “It should be a good one-day tournament for us.”
The tournament starts at 10 a.m. with preliminary rounds. Each wrestler will compete in three round robin matches. The top two will advance to the championship bracket while the other two will compete in the consolation bracket.
The Pioneers won the Perry Tournament and beat Perry, Blackwell, Ponca City, Altus and Ponca City in duals this season. Stillwater won’t face Choctaw in a dual and will face Muskogee on Feb. 8 in Muskogee. Stillwater enters the tournament coming off a 37-23 dual victory against No. 2 Broken Arrow. Chesbro said having momentum is great but his team needs to come hungry.
“You are at the point of the year where things can come unraveled pretty quickly,” Chesbro said. “It can be easy to get complacent and think things are coming too easily. We got to keep pushing forward. We’ve seen all of these teams. We’re probably going to get a good fight from Perry.”
The Maroons are coming off a tournament victory in the Jay Hancock last weekend. Noah Nida won the 120-pound bracket. David Thomas (160) finished second. Blake Avery (132), Garrett Beier (195) and Bo Montez (220) finished third. Cale Betchan (106) and Riley Betchan (182) finished fourth. Hunter Condit finished fifth in the 145-pound weight class.
“We are wrestling really well,” Perry coach Ronnie Delk said. “We had some outstanding performances last weekend.”
Both Chesbro and Delk think their team should be in contention for the title.
“If we meet our potential we should be fine,” Chesbro said. “If we wrestle like we did Tuesday, we will probably blow it out of the water.”
“It’s going to be tough trying to beat a nationally recruited team like Stillwater with home grown boys from Perry,” Delk said. “We are going to give it our best shot. We don’t care who we are facing, we are just going to wrestle.”