After one of the most decorated high school careers in area history, it was only fitting for Ardmore’s Evan McGee to finish in the same position he maintained throughout his career as a Tiger wrestler.
Arms thrust to the sky, basking in victory.
In his final match at the high school level, McGee showed exactly why he earned the distinction of All-State, topping 6A state champion Travis Morgan of Stillwater in a 3-2 overtime match at Bixby High School in Tulsa.
The match was part of this week’s All-State festivities, and cemented McGee as one of the strongest Oklahoma heavyweight wrestlers in recent history.
“He has a strong desire to win, and a big heart,” Ardmore coach Richard Dabbs said. “We talk about people who want to win, but Evan has to win, and there’s a big difference.”
That difference, whether big or small, was what separated the stout McGee from his competition during his career at Ardmore, an outstanding one that saw McGee claim two state titles, including a perfect senior year in which he won every match.
Not that McGee has had many opportunities to reflect on his accomplishments.
“I haven’t really thought about it, just because I don’t have the time to do all that,” McGee said. “But I still feel pretty good about it.”
As to being named All-State, it was an honor that McGee has waited for.
“It means a lot,” McGee said. “It means they’ll put my picture up on the wall in the wrestling room (at Ardmore).”
“It’s a well-deserved honor for him,” Dabbs said. “Evan proved himself during the year, and the last three years, to be one of the best heavyweights in the state, regardless of class.”
The match against Morgan, considered in the small group that could rival McGee, helped to solidify the champ’s reputation.
“I’ve been talking to him since I was in the eighth grade, and he’s always been ranked higher than me,” McGee said. “We’re still pretty good friends.”
With his prep career now officially over, McGee will head to LaBette, a junior college in Parsons, Kan., to continue his career.