MADILL – Two Madill wrestlers, on opposite ends of their high school careers, will head to the Oklahoma High School Wrestling State Championship with the same goal – win.
Senior Zane Crisp, wrestling at 220 pounds and sophomore Dylan McCullough, wrestling in the 132-pound weight class will be representing the Madill Wildcats in Oklahoma City at the State Fairgrounds Arena Friday and Saturday.
Madill coach Jim Love said his wrestlers are in great shape, and each has a shot to take some State Championship hardware back to Madill.
“Both of them are set up for success,” he said. “I’ll predict Dylan will be in the finals and Zane’s got a shot too. We could go get a couple state championships or we could be out. Every kid in the bracket has losses. It’s even. Everyone’s a threat, and everyone’s beatable. It will be an interesting couple of days.”
For McCullough, the State Championship is an opportunity to join his dad in the rafters of Madill High School.
McCullough’s father won state in 92-93 and made three appearances in his high school career.
Dylan already has a jump on his dad after going to state last year, and this year, Dylan said he’s ready to put his mark on Madill history.
“I feel like I’m going to win,” McCullough said. “I got a good chance. Last year I was a freshman, I wasn’t as mature or dedicated and I didn’t place. That made me work hard. This year, I’ve put in the work, I’m stronger and I’m better. I think this year will be different.”
McCullough carries a 26-4 record this season. After taking third place in the OSSAA 4A West Regional tournament, he earned his second state championship berth in as many years.
“Dylan’s got quickness speed and strength, he can do it,” Love said. “He’s going to have to fight; through those tough moments, the one-point matches. But he’s a hard worker. He’s got a shot.”
Dylan will face Cleveland’s Zach Myles in the opening round of the tournament on Friday. Myles went 27-5 this season and took second place in the 4A East regional.
While on paper, the sophomore would appear the less seasoned wrestler of the two Madil standouts, McCullough has wrestled for as long as he can remember, competing in the sport since he was four years old.
Meanwhile Senior Zane Crisp first stepped on a mat his sophomore year.
Despite lacking the experience of most elite high school wrestlers, Crisp quickly rose through the ranks.
“Zane’s an athlete,” Love said. “For years he wasn’t using it, but he is now. He’s come a long way, fast. He might not have the knowledge some of these wrestlers have, but he makes up for with effort and ability.”
In just one season, Crisp rose from a newcomer to wrestling against the best in Oklahoma, qualifying for the State Championship his sophomore year. His junior year he won Regionals.
Now in his final season, Crisp said he’s ready to close out his high school wrestling career on top.
“There’s going to be nerves, but I’m excited,” Crisp said. “I get another shot, I get another week to compete. I’m going to leave it all out there. I’m going to go out there and enjoy it.”
Crisp finished the season with a 15-6 record.
Earlier this year, he took first place in the Midwestern Conference Tournament in the 220-pound weight class. Last week, Crisp took second in the OSSAA 4A West Regionals.
Crisp will face Sallisaw’s Walter Solo in the opening round of the tournament. Solo took third in the 4A East Regionals and comes into the match with a 26-9 record.