By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The Charles Page High School varsity wrestling team easily overcame the Owasso Rams Thursday night in their first competition of the season, and they did it without five starters.
The unranked Rams entered their match with a 1-1 record, beating Enid 47-24, but losing to #1 Broken Arrow 54-14.
Sand Springs is starting a bit later than many schools, and the anticipation has been building since Flowrestling listed Sand Springs as the #25 team in the nation.
Several starters are also starting players on the Charles Page State Runner-Up football team and Coach Smith wanted to give them extra time to get in wrestling shape after a long season.
Those missing links didn't even slow down the Sandites who only lost two matches on the mat, and forfeited two others due to not having anyone at that weight.
Up first was 106 freshman Riley Weir who shut down his opponent Eric Merida (2-5) with a 10-0 major decision for 4 team points.
113 Michael Ritchey (1-0) expanded that lead to 7-0 with a 3-0 decision over Wyatt Johnson, then 120 Blake Sargent pinned Gavin Damilao in 0:53 for a 13-0 lead.
126 junior #6 (in 113) Jack Karstetter scored a 17-2 tech fall in 3:35 against Jesse Gomez, then his 132 cousin #1 (in 120) Daton Fix pinned #1 Baylor Smith in 3:05.
The Rams didn't put points on the board till Brandon Conrad managed a narrow 5-4 defeat of 138 John Jiminez. Jiminez took a brief 1-point lead on an escape and nearly won it before he was taken down with 10 seconds left and was unable to escape or reverse. Jiminez was a state runner-up two years ago but missed last season due to a pretty serious back injury. Though he's back at 100% physically, this was his first match in over a year and a half.
With a 24-3 lead, 145 junior #4 (in 132) Beau Bratcher pinned Jacob Mitchell in a team best 42 seconds and 152 Cody Mathis ran up the highest scoring match of the dual with a 17-8 major decision over Nolan Miller.
160 junior (#2 in 145) Zane Basma scored a 1:12 fall against Jalen Johnson and 170 Bryton Beck was right there with him with a pin in 1:08 of Zach Mitchell. 182 John Houston was pinned by JD Johnson, but 195 Zack Sims finished the night off with a 3:09 pin of Harrison Moseby for a 52-9 lead.
The Sandites didn't have any wrestlers available at 220 and heavyweight so the Rams were awarded 12 points for a final score of 52-21.
While technically #1 Broken Arrow edged the Rams by slightly more than Sand Springs, the Sandites won it without state qualifier Delvin Jordan, state placer Trace Fleischman, starters Cole Dixon and Gage Fain, and state qualifier Lane Lettich who are all healthy and will be joining the wrestling ranks in the coming weeks.
Needless to say, it looks like that #25 ranking is well deserved, and Broken Arrow may soon be toppled.