Plainview's Drake Martel has been a force on the high school wrestling mats for his entire career, finishing off a sterling senior season as one of the cogs of a resurgent Indians squad.
Now, the Class 3A runner-up in the 160-pound weight class will be taking his talents to Oklahoma City University, signing a letter of intent Wednesday to wrestle for Archie Randall and the Stars.
"It feels pretty good, knowing that I worked this hard and it pays off," Martel said. "(OCU) is close to home, they have really good wrestling and the coaches are really cool."
Plainview wrestling coach Rocky Atencio testified to the leadership and dedication that Martel showed in his career. Martel was a state champion and two-time state runner-up at 5A Altus before tranferring to Plainview for his senior season.
"Drake is very unselfish, came in as a 170 state champion and cut to 160 for the team," Atencio said. "We've been very blessed to have him at Plainview, and I think him moving on will be good for all of us."
Randall, for his part, is expecting an athlete that will have a shot to see some action immediately and should be part of the cornerstone for the program's future.
"He's a talented athlete, a good student, fits in really well with the recruiting class I have coming and and the guys I got from last year," Randall said. "He's one of the top kids that we wanted.
"Within the next two or three years, he'll be one of the main kids on our team."
For a program that came into this year having never signed a wrestler to a collegiate program in school history, Martel's signing is another landmark moment.
"The Plainview kids are tough, they work really hard," Randall said. "That sticks out to you when you watch them."
It is a sign that Atencio sees as a bright one for the Indians' future.
"Obviously, this helps out tremendously," Atencio said. "These kids see what Drake and the others are doing and it inspires them to work hard so they can achieve something similar."
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