It was burning up in the Ardmore High School wrestling room on Tuesday. Padded floors were sweat-drenched and the air was thick from state-title contenders gearing up for this weekend’s finale in Oklahoma City.


It was burning up in the Ardmore High School wrestling room on Tuesday. Padded floors were sweat-drenched and the air was thick from state-title contenders gearing up for this weekend’s finale in Oklahoma City.

And Davis’ Christian Bailey was no where to be found.

The junior made the trip to Ardmore with his father, Davis coach Jayson Bailey, in order to get some work with others going to state. The only problem was that Christian pulled a shoulder muscle that sidelined him for the day.

The father was lively and on his toes, but the son emerged from the locker room as if someone had stolen his lunch money.

“He was sparked up on Monday, but the injury’s taken a bit out of him,” Jayson said.

But the 112-pound state favorite and child of the wrestling circle has competed with worse injuries in his 13 years of mat work. How about a hernia as a sixth grader? How about torn ligaments in his elbow as a freshman?

“He’s (Christian) lived wrestling his whole life,” said Ardmore coach Richard Dabbs, who’s known the Baileys since Jayson was in junior high. “After school, he didn’t go to the babysitter.

The wrestling room was his babysitter.”

“The doctors didn’t say I couldn’t wrestle,” Christian said of his freshman injury, which occurred while wrestling with his dad on Christmas Day. “So I wrestled a couple of tournaments and matches and people really went to twirking on it.

“The only thing to help it was time off, but there were only three weeks left in the season.”

Guess what Bailey did next?

“I took time off ... after wrestling.”

That season, Bailey finished 25-5 and a regional runner-up. In the two years since, Bailey won two regional championships, one at Marlow, and has compiled a 66-11 record. This year back at Davis, Bailey is 27-2, with his two losses coming to 5A and 6A wrestlers at 119 pounds, one weight class up from his standard 112.

“He’s quick like a cat, has good hips and doesn’t get scared,” Jayson Bailey said. “He’s done everything he needs to do. It’s three matches, 18 minutes. He can go win it if he wants it bad enough.

“It’s all on his shoulders.”

Jayson couldn’t have been more right. It is on Christian’s shoulders, or shoulder, rather.

“When you travel a lot of different places to wrestle there’s a higher risk of injury,” Christian said.

“People try to go all out, but people you normally work out with know not to go full-blast 100 percent.

“It seems like something always happens, but I’m used to it. I try not to let the injuries get me down.”

Last year, Bailey finished fourth at state, but has a clear opportunity to claim his first state title this weekend. The Baileys said the top competition should come from Webbers Falls’ Arley Taylor and Perry’s Jerry Tyler.

This season, Bailey beat Taylor 10-0 and in the 3A West Regional final, topped Tyler 12-4.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” Bailey said. “I’ve been in it (wrestling) for a long time, so I’m confident.

“I know I have a really good shot of winning it.”

Erik K. Horne
221-6522
erik.horne@ardmoreite.com