By Jason Elmquist
BIXBY, Okla. —
The Stillwater High wrestling team will be sending six wrestlers to the state tournament in Oklahoma City after a successful regional tournament in Bixby.
“We’ve come to expect to take numbers to state, but after losing those three horses we lost last year to graduation, we didn’t know where they would come from,” SHS wrestling coach Doug Chesbro said. “And we got two freshmen who stepped up and we’re really pleased about that.”
Of the six to qualify for the the Class 6A state event, which will be Friday at the State Fairgrounds Arena, three of the wrestlers earned regional championships in the process.
Freshman Kennedy Monday won a regional championship at 106 pounds. Sophomore Kaid Brock claimed a regional crown at the 113-pound weight class and sophomore Joe Smith won another regional championship trophy with a major decision victory in the 132-pound weight class.
Junior Benny Teagarden, the only other Pioneer wrestler to reach a regional title bout, lost in his match by a 9-1 major decision to Union's Luke Wolfenburger to finish second at regionals.
Stillwater got two other wrestlers into state through the consolation bracket. Junior King Williams, who lost his championship semifinal on Friday, went on to win the consolation bracket and take third place.
Freshman Chase Lane, who won a junior high state title at 132 pounds, had to battle through three matches Saturday but came away with a third-place finish in the 138-pound weight class.
“It’s great. He had a great junior high season and wrestled for us off and on. But at the end of the year he just really came on and has really been improving all year,” said Chesbro, who mentioned they were considering switching him with Smith in weight classes. “Not only did he place, he placed third, so he doesn’t have to face the top wrestler from the other regional.”
While state is still a week away, Chesbro couldn’t help but think about the future of the program with all six qualifying wrestlers being underclassmen.
“We have two freshmen, two sophomores and two juniors. So we’re sitting pretty not just this year, but every single one of them is coming back next season, also,” Chesbro said. “And that really has me excited.”