There are new and old faces appearing at the state wrestling tournament this year.


There are new and old faces appearing at the state wrestling tournament this year.

Ardmore will send six to the State Fairgrounds Arena this Friday. In 2010, the Tigers qualified five in Class 5A.

Jimmy Langford leads way for Ardmore as the one of three regional champions from the area. The senior placed third in last year’s state tournament and is the West’s top seed in the 112-pound division.

Ardmore will also send Oscar Balderrama (103), Timothy Shannon (130) Sam Schrader (140) Jeremiah Pearce (145) and Evan McGee (285) to state. Shannon was a third-place finisher at 119 with Madill last season, and Schrader and McGee each qualified last year as underclassmen, with McGee placing fourth.

The six qualifiers are the most Ardmore coach Richard Dabbs has taken to state in his three seasons with the Tigers.

“We brought six and should have brought eight or nine,” Dabbs said Thursday night. “We seem to be focused. Our weight’s really good. We haven’t been this close to weights all year. We’re all fresh with little injuries.”

In Class 4A, Madill matches its state group from last year, sending three wrestlers. Isaac Green follows in the footsteps of 2010 placer Brad Avery as a No. 1 seed at 189 pounds. Green placed third last season at 171.

Joining Green are first-time qualifiers Levi Shelby (130) and Luke Chapman (145).

Green will likely have to go through Logan Byrd of Sallisaw for the title. Byrd beat Green earlier in the season and also handed Avery his only loss of the season, 8-5, in last year’s state tournament.

First-year Madill coach Jared Henning, a former three-time state champion at Tuttle, believes he has a trio capable of bringing home hardware.
“He’s probably an underdog when it comes down to it, but Green’s got a real good shot,” Hennig said.

“Levi and Luke are first timers at state and really talented wrestlers. The first time you go to state, a lot of guys get big eyes. We’ve tried to eliminate that factor from them.”

In Class 3A, four of the five qualifiers from south-central Oklahoma will wrestle at the State Fairgrounds Arena for the first time. Plainview sends 2010 state alternate Cade Wheelwright (112) and Brent Davis (145), Sulphur has sophomore Ike Flowers (112) and Davis brings freshman Braden Ruth (215).

Logan Webb of Davis qualified as a regional champion and a No. 1 seed at 171 pounds and returns to state to avenge his injury default in last year’s tournament. The senior hurt his arm against Lane Davis of Plainview in a consolation match and had to withdraw.

Whereas all of Plainview’s qualifiers last year were seniors, this year’s group is sophomores only.

“We had another couple of sophomores close to getting in,” Plainview coach Tony Willoughby said. “It speaks volumes as a program. It says the next couple of years, we’re gonna be close to being really good.”

Wheelwright was a regional runner-up last week in Kingfisher, upsetting then-state No. 2 Joseph Blaylock of Comanche before falling in the 112 final to Matt Manley of Perry. Manley and Wheelwright are the No. 1 and 2 seeds from the west.

“We have a real good shot at a rematch with Manley in the finals,” Willoughby said. “And Brent has a tough bracket, but has shown when he goes out and is aggressive he can wrestle with anybody.”

Erik K. Horne
221-6522

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OSSAA State Championships

  At State Fairgrounds Arena, Oklahoma City
  Today: First round in all classes, 10:30 a.m.; consolations, 5 p.m.; semifinals, 7:15 p.m.
  Saturday: Consolation semifinals, 10:30 a.m.; consolation finals, 12:45 p.m.; opening ceremonies for finals, 5 p.m.; final matches, 5:45 p.m.

State qualifiers (with grade, school, weight class, record and seed)
Class 5A
Oscar Balderrama, SR, Ardmore, 103 pounds, 24-10, West No. 3 seed
Jimmy Langford, SR, Ardmore, 112, 33-5, West No. 1
Timothy Shannon, SR, Ardmore, 130, 5-2, West No. 4
Sam Schrader, SR, Ardmore, 140, 21-8, West No. 2
Jeremiah Pearce, JR, Ardmore, 145, 21-8, West No. 2
Evan McGee, JR,Ardmore, 285, 36-2, West No. 4

Class 4A
Levi Shelby, JR, Madill, 130, 25-8, West No. 4
Luke Chapman, SO, Madill, 145, 25-9, West No. 4
Isaac Green, SR, Madill, 189, 20-3, West No. 1

Class 3A
Cade Wheelwright, SO, Plainview, 112, 24-7, West No. 2
Ike Flowers, SO, Sulphur, 112, 18-10, West No. 3
Brent Davis, SO, Plainview, 140, 15-8, West No. 4
Logan Webb SR, Davis, 171, 26-2, West No. 1
Braden Ruth FR, Davis, 215, 21-3, West No. 3

Visit www.ossaa.com for complete state tournament brackets.