Soon after Sulphur’s Logan Grinstead wrapped up his 3A state championship at 285 pounds, Ardmore’s Michael Reed was winding down his battle against El Reno’s Bryan Soloman for the 5A crown two mats away.


Soon after Sulphur’s Logan Grinstead wrapped up his 3A state championship at 285 pounds, Ardmore’s Michael Reed was winding down his battle against El Reno’s Bryan Soloman for the 5A crown two mats away.

And what a battle it was.

Reed scored all his points in the final period and slowed down the defending state champion for a 5-2 victory Saturday night in the OSSAA State Championships at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Arena. Reed’s name will be the 14th added to Ardmore’s billboard of state champions in the school’s practice room.

“I’m on cloud nine,” said Reed, who’s still considering continuing his career at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Senior Grinstead (33-2), the 2A runner-up last year, overcame a week of inactivity due to strep throat and beat Newkirk freshman Trevor Summitt 9-1. Grinstead gave Murray County its second champion of the night.

The first was Davis junior Christian Bailey, a 6-0 winner over Berryhill senior Kodee Varnell in the 3A 112-pound final. That gave Bailey a 30-2 mark for the season.

Madill junior Brad Avery was the other south-central Oklahoma wrestler in Saturday night’s finals, but he fell 10-4 to unbeaten Cody Johnson of Oologah.

Reed (38-3) finished his high school career with first-, second- and third-place finishes on the state level. He was a runner-up two years ago and third place last year in Class 4A.

Never having won a regional title, Reed had no doubts he’d cap his Ardmore run to No. 1 in the state -- and that he’d do it over the guy who beat him for the regional title a week ago at Edmond Deer Creek.

“I was confident the whole way through,” Reed said Saturday.

Like many of his matches, Reed started with a low-scoring battle before opening up. He scored an escape early in the third period to tie the match at 1, and with 1:13 left he snuck in a go-ahead takedown before going out of bounds. He all but sealed the title with another take less than a minute later.

“I opened up on him,” Reed said. “You have to at the state tournament.”

The win was a pleasant ending to coach Richard Dabbs’ first year at Ardmore. The previous three years, he coached Sulphur, including guiding Grinstead to second place last year.

“What it means for our program (at Ardmore) is, it’s another big step for our program,” Dabbs said. “We’re rebuilding our program, and we have a lot of support. It’s something positive that we can build on.”

Grinstead had no problems in his final 2 minutes. He took a 2-1 lead before the third period on escapes, but two takes and a 3-point near fall did the trick.

“I just worked my moves and took him down,” Grinstead said. “This is the first time I’ve faced him. I had heard he’s a pretty good wrestler.”

Grinstead was in good form after still feeling sick Thursday and Friday.

“Friday, I was feeling real bad,” Grinstead said. “But I was going to wrestle through it.”

Sulphur coach Zach Cartmell did not want to call the win luck.

“Luck is not the right word; he was a better wrestler,” Cartmell said of Grinstead. “We talked about it from the first of the year -- if he can score the first takedown, he was going to win the match, and he scored the first takedown.”

Davis coach Jayson Bailey gave his son Christian a few wise words before his finale:

“Son, this is your last match I’ll coach you as a boy. Next year, you’ll be 18, you’ll be a man. Get it done and do it right.

“Oh, and I love you.”

A father’s love goes a long way and pays off.

“Not many people get to do it, father and son,” Christian Bailey said.

Said Jayson Bailey: “I’ve had state champions, but nothing like this. He wanted it.”

Bailey’s victory completes a week he started by pulling a muscle in his right shoulder while stretching on Monday. He had to focus more on conditioning than technique work the rest of the week.

But the conditioning paid off.

“I’m not really tired,” he said after his victory.

And he hardly showed any emotion after the final whistle.

“I was really confident coming in,” he said.

Bailey (30-2) was wrestling an even match until 39 seconds left in the first quarter, when he scored his first takedown. He had a takedown in each period, maintaining control on the mat.

“I was just trying to get in rhythm, get in there and win it,” Bailey said of the early going.”

While Saturday night was one for four-time state champions to take the spotlight, Oologah’s Johnson shared in it in the Class 4A 189-pound final. He completed a 41-0 season with a 10-4 win over Avery, who was going for Madill’s 16th state championship.

“Brad went after him, and that’s what we expected,” Madill coach Baker McHatton said. “He was fighting until the last buzzer went. We’re very proud of him.”

Avery scored each of his points by escapes, including two in the fourth period. Johnson went out to a 4-0 lead in the first period and set the tone the rest of the way.

“The thing that makes him so good is that, he’s like a technician,” Avery said. “I tried the high crotch; it’s one of my better shots, but he kept his left side open. It didn’t work; he kept baiting me.

Avery still finished with a consistent season at 27-5 and one of Madill’s two regional championships; the other belonging to Zane Howell at 112.

I.C. Murrell,
221-6527
ic.murrell@ardmoreite.com