OKLAHOMA CITY — On Friday, the top wrestlers from around the state of Oklahoma gathered in the Jim Norick arena at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds to compete for their shot at a state title.

OKLAHOMA CITY — On Friday, the top wrestlers from around the state of Oklahoma gathered in the Jim Norick arena at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds to compete for their shot at a state title.

In 3A several area schools were represented with Davis, Sulphur and Plainview competing. 

“We did alright, I mean we could have done better,” Sulphur coach Drew Swartz said. 

“That’s what is fun about this tournament, you have the best eight guys (per weight class) and they are going to hash it out. Anybody can be beat.”

Starting things off for the Bulldogs, Gage Graham had one more chance to show he deserved a shot at the title. 

Wrestling in the wrestle-in match, Graham quickly disposed of his opponent by pinning him 1:25 into the first round. Graham was pinned in his matchup against the No. 1 seed Gabe Valencia from Perry, but bounced back nicely and put himself in the consolation semifinal on Saturday after pinning Caleb Odell from Blackwood. 

In the 132 pound-division, the Bulldog’s Kolbe Madron stepped in and showed why he was deserving of the one seed. 

Madron battled in his first match, ultimately defeating Brent Dawson of Bridge Creek 6-2. Madron got up early, taking a 2-0 lead in the first period with a take down. After the score was tied in the second following a reversal by Dawson, Madron took over in the third and sealed the victory with a reversal of his own and a near fall. 

In the semifinal, things got even tougher for Madron. 

With the score tied at zero following regulation, Madron was defeated with a reversal by Wesley Scott of Pawnee.

At 182, the No. 2 seed Trey Kiser took on No. 3 Zach Wattenbarger from Vinita. In a back and forth match up, Kiser was pinned late in the third round. Quickly redeeming himself, Kiser pinned Hayden Fry from Morrison in the first round of the consolation bracket.

The last wrestler representing the Bulldogs was No. 3 seed John Farrell in the 285 pound division. 

Farrell wrestled hard in his opening round match up, but was pinned in the second round by the 2-seed Teaguan Wilson of Perry.

Farrell had one more shot in the consolation bracket, but was defeated 12-6 in three rounds by Chase Merkey, of Geary. 

Indians head coach Ryan Henning, who has plenty of experience wrestling in the Oklahoma State tournament from his high school days, was happy to see the progression his team made from the beginning of the day to the end.

“We kind of started slow, we didn’t come out and wrestle like I thought we should,” he said. “They just have to keep being aggressive and attack. We kind of started off timid but this last round we started attacking, if we stay timid we are not going to place.”

170-pounder Lane Johnson started things off for the Indians in the wrestle-in match, unfortunately Johnson was pinned by Ryan Locke, of Newkirk, in the second round and would not advance.

Nick Vercelli, made it to his first state championship appearance on Friday. 

As the No. 4 seed, Vercelli faced 3 seed Alex Prince from Vinita in the opening match, but was pinned in the second round. 

He did however bounce back in the consolation bracket, defeating Logan Smith of Perry by a 4-3 decision.

The final representative for the Indians was Jeston Gilliam in the 195 pound bracket. As the No. 3 seed Gilliam faced No. 4 seeded Simeon Shepard of Tonkawa, and was pinned in the second round. 

Gilliam recovered in the consolation bracket by pinning Caeden Guthary of Little Axe late in the second round.

The Davis Wolves brought just two wrestlers to the state finals, and ended up with a wrestler in the state finals on Saturday.

Wolves coach Gene Bennett is excited to see the growth in the Wolves program.

“We did well, Jessie (Gutierrez) hasn’t wrestled well here two years in a row, and next year is his senior year so hopefully he can come down here and do some good, he is a lot better wrestler than he has shown in this building,” he said.

“Cooper (Webb) is pretty steady, he had a bad week last week in regionals, but new opponents this week and I feel very good at where he is at. There is only one heavyweight that can beat Copper Webb and that is Cooper Webb.”

Gutierrez had to fight for a spot in the state bracket by wrestling in the Wrestle-in match. 

Gutierrez wrestled valiantly, but lost in a 4-0 decision to Dylan Henson of Vinita.

Webb was the No.2 seed out of the west and went to work early in his opening round match up against No. 3 seed Johnny Williamson from Jay, pinning him 1:12 into the first round.

Webb had a tough match up in the semi finals against Alton Allen of Perkins-Tyron. 

In a low scoring affair, tied at 2, Webb got the go ahead point late in the third round to give him a 3-2 decision. 

In 4A the Madill Wildcats brought five wrestlers from their program to state. 

Even though his team will not have a first or second place finisher this year, head coach Jim Love knows his team has a strong mindset to finish strong.

“You got to win those semifinals, we have wrestled well so far, but know you have to battle back to get third,” Love said. 

“You come back and place you can feel alright, but right now it does not feel too good. We came here to win them, I am proud of them but we are not satisfied.”

Dylan McCullough kicked things off for the Wildcats by participating in the 138 pound wrestle-in match. McCullough got the win in the first round to advance to the state bracket. 

McCullough fought hard against the No. 1 seed Jaylon Otero from Catoosa but lost in an 8-5 decision.

He then faced Jackson Bordwine from Mannford, pinning him 1:10 into the first round.

Another wrestle-in participant for the Wildcats was Damian Ramirez in the 145-pound bracket. Ramirez went to the third round with Bryar Lucas, of Cleveland, but was pinned in the third round, ending his tournament bid.

In the 160 pound bracket, No. 2 seed Colt Crowson was able to pin the No. 3 seed Keedin Crockett in the second round. 

In the semi finals, Crowson was pinned by Jacob Ahlberg, of Cushing, in the second round.

The final wrestle-in participant for the Wildcats was Coty Tweedy in the 195-pound bracket. 

Tweedy wrestled his way into the state bracket after needing overtime to defeat Chochee Watson, of Wagoner, by an  8-5 decision. 

In the next round, Tweedy lost by a 10-2 major decision to No. 1 seed Carson Berryhill of Tuttle. 

Tweedy was able to recover, defeating Ben Sifers of Newcastle by a 6-1 decision to advance to the consolation semifinals.

The last wrestler to represent the Wildcats was Griffon Williams.

In the 285-pound bracket the No. 1 seed Williams made quick work of Ruben Gutierrez, of Clinton, pinning him in the second round.

In an ultimate battle of grit, Williams took on Ryder Wiese of Blanchard in the state semifinal. After going back and forth for three rounds, the two heavyweights needed a fourth period to settle the score. Unfortunately, Wiese got the takedown with eight second left in the over time period to seal the victory over Williams. 

The Ardmore Tigers were the lone representation in the 5A bracket, sending Karson Rice and Gregory Booker to the wrestle-in stage.

After having no representation last season, Tigers head coach Kevin Gil was happy with the direction the program is heading.

“I am happy to bring kids here again, and I look forward to next year” he said. 

“It just comes down to hard work, we need to be in the weight room lifting and we need to stay healthy next year.”

Rice was the first to go for the Tigers, wrestling in the 106 weight class against Kai Shultz, of Claremore, in the wrestle-in match. 

Rice was pinned early in the first round, ending his day at the tournament.

Booker also had to earn his spot into the state bracket early Friday morning as well. 

He battled hard against Jamison Wortham, of Will Rogers, in order to advance, managing to overcome a 7-4 deficit with a late pin to earn a place in the main bracket. 

Booker then faced No. 1 seed Hunter Hall, of Skiatook, in the next round, where he went all three rounds, but lost by major decision 16-5. 

Booker was then placed in the consolation bracket and faced Gabe Chesbro of Bishop Kelly, and again Booker fought until the final whistle, but was eliminated with a 6-3 decision.