Stillwater News Press

Sports

July 23, 2012

Stillwater High School wrestling duo heads to all-state meet

STILLWATER, Okla. — Wednesday state wrestling champions Paul Wilson and Travis Morgan will compete in one last high school match for Stillwater High.

The pair of heavyweights will take part in the Oklahoma Coaches Association all-state wrestling meet as members of the All-State Large East squad.

“I thought about it the other day that this might be the last time I wrestle in Oklahoma — at least at the high school level,” Wilson said. “So to think this is the last thing to do as a Stillwater or even an Oklahoma wrestler is pretty cool.”

Morgan added, “It’s pretty sad to think about that, but then I think about how after this I’ll have bigger and better things waiting for me. So it’s sad, but it’ll be a good way to end off my career wrestling as a high schooler.”

Both heavyweight bouts will feature state champions squaring off in the pride fight.

Wilson will take on Guthrie’s Landry Chappell, a runner-up at state this year but a state champion in 2010. Meanwhile, Morgan will take on a two-time state champion in Ardmore’s Evan McGee, who went 35-0 last season.

“It’s always a pleasure and a privilege to wrestle in all-star matches like this, wrestling against other guys who are just as good as you or even better,” Morgan said. “It’s always exciting to gauge your opponent and see what you need to do to win the match.”

Morgan won’t have to take as long to gauge his opponent, however. The recent Stillwater graduate said he’s faced McGee in competitions before.

“I’ve wrestled him in the past and he's a good opponent. But I think if I keep my head straight and do what I’ve been trained to do, I should be able to come out victorious in the end,” Morgan said. “But he’s one of those guys where if you mess up once he’ll take advantage of that, so you have to wrestle a perfect match.”

For Wilson, on the other hand, it will be a new opponent. He said some bragging rights are on the line with two state champions going head-to-head.

“To be able to say I was an all-state wrestler and won my all-state match will be awesome,” said Wilson, who had to defeat a state champion in this past season’s state championship final. “So it’s not necessarily bragging rights over the other person, but bragging rights for myself.”

Following Wednesday’s meet, both former Pioneers will turn the page and look to wrestling at the college level. Morgan will be continuing his wrestling career at Division I Appalachian State, while Wilson will wrestle at Colorado School of Mines, a Division II program.

“I’ve been working on getting into shape for college, but this match has definitely been on my radar for a little while now,” Wilson said.

There will also be three area seniors competing in the small school all-state competition for the Small East all-state wrestling team — Perry’s Jamaree Swan (126) and Matt Manley (132) and Cushing’s Kyle Knight (138). Each of the three area senior wrestlers won state championships.

Knight will wrestle up to 145, and face Weatherford’s Don Ervin, who went 35-3 and won the 145-pound division state title in Class 4A. Manley — who will be wrestling at Missouri next year — will also face a state champion in Piedmont’s Aaron Hane, who won the 126-pound division title in 4A but will wrestle up against Manley while Tuttle’s Trent Cantu will face Swan at 126.

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