By Andrew Glover
OKLAHOMA CITY —
The Perry Maroons entered Friday’s first day of the wrestling state tournament looking for redemption after last year’s second-place finish. At the end of the day, Perry was in good position, leading Class 3A with 93 points.
“It started tight,” Perry coach Ronnie Delk said. “Our wrestlers opened up and loosened up and got going. We had a great evening.”
The Maroons sent four to the finals, including senior Austin Allen at the 152-pound weight class. Allen won his first match with a 4-2 decision over Sperry’s John Gruenwald. In the semifinals, Allen trailed 4-2 to Tonkawa’s Reece Simpson after two periods. Allen got a nearfall in the third to even the match. Less than 30 seconds in the sudden victory, Allen scored the fall.
“It was huge,” Allen said. “The fans, Coach Delk here supporting me, it means the world to me.”
Junior Colton Looper got redemption from last season’s tournament, pulling out a 1-0 victory over Newkirk’s Jared Schieber in the semifinals.
“Last year, I was seeded first and came in with a big head and didn’t place,” Looper said. “This is big. It’s definitely redemption.”
Delk said he was proud of his wrestlers that reached the finals.
“I can’t say enough about Colton Looper and Austin Allen,” Delk said. “David Thomas repeats what he did last year. Some of our younger guys stepped up with Dalton Revels and Noah Nida.”
Thomas reached the finals in the 160-pound weight class with a victory over Blackwell’s Sam Schuermann.
Cushing finished the first day in second with 63 points, well behind Tuttle’s 133. Defending state champion Gage Stallworth, at 160, won his first match by fall, 32 seconds into the match. The junior wrestled Austin Elam of Tuttle. Stallworth scored a takedown in the first and added another in the third. Saturday will be a grudge match for Stallworth as he faces Blanchard’s Braden Stringer, who gave him his only loss of the season at regionals.
Stallworth said he missed most of the season with a broken leg and wanted to see where he physically.
“I still wasn’t in great shape,” Stallworth said about his regional defeat. “It showed me where I’m at. I worked on some of those things today to fix them for (Saturday).”
Coach Chad Short said the victory was huge for Stallworth.
“One of the keys to wrestling is having confidence,” Short said. “(Stallworth) hasn’t had confidence because he hasn’t been on the mat. He’s just now gaining that confidence.”
Pawnee’s lone qualifier, Marlon Houston Jr., will wrestle for the Class 3A 170-pound title against David Dowell of Newkirk. Houston defeated Blackwell’s Jacob Lamb 7-1 and Darian Mixon of Chandler 3-1.
Perkins-Tryon has three wrestlers aiming for medals. Junior Blake Avery defeated Comanche’s Rick Kelly by fall 3:06 in the first round of the 126-pound weight class. Locust’s Cub Yeager got the best of Avery in the semifinals with a fall in the third period. Brett Cheary lost his first match in the 132-pound weight class by fall but won in the first round of consolation by decision. Brandon Moody lost by technical fall 15-0 in the first round but won in consolation.