By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
Sand Springs sent four wrestlers to the 2016 Junior High All State Tournament in Oklahoma City last month and all four placed.
Carter Young pinned his way through his first three opponents in the 6th & 7th Grade 80 pound bracket, taking down Brady Benham (Collinsville) in 0:28, Aiden Godbehere (Blackwell) in 1:00, and Cooper Evans (Bristow) in 2:34. In the semifinals he was pitted against Cotton Bowl National Champion Jordan Cullors of Collinsville and prevailed by way of 14-3 major decision. The championship match would be a lot closer and Young went into a sudden victory round with Blazik Perez of Broken Arrow, tied 6-6. The Sandite came out with the takedown, however, and claimed his second consecutive Junior High State Championship title.
Blake Jones competed at 92 pounds in the 6th & 7th Grade division and pinned Noah Ballard (Blackwell) in 2:43. He defeated his next opponent, Nathan Dekker, by 8-2 decision, but went down in the quarterfinals 10-2 to Bryce Dauphin of Tuttle. In the consolation bracket he pinned Grant Bunten (Owasso) in 3:45, then repeated his victory over Dekker by a narrow 2-0 decision. In the semifinal he edged out Shaun Muse 8-7, but lost in the finals to Jacob Wright of Southmoore by 2-0 ultimate tie-breaker and took 4th place.
Seth Jones pinned his first two opponents in a combined 49 seconds. Competing at 101 pounds in the Junior High division, he took down Jacob Burdette (Bixby) in 0:24 and Alex Oquinn (Wagoner) in 0:25, then scored a 9-3 decision over David Boucher (Bartlesville) and a 4-0 decision over Ryder Ramsey (Tuttle). In the semifinals he was edged out 2-1 by Branden Elrod (Jenks) but he recovered in the consolation bracket with a 6-4 decision over Cade Waltman and a 5-2 decision over Luke Surber (Tuttle) for a third place finish.
Irwin Portillo, who also saw action on the varsity mat this season, competed at 118 in the Junior High division. He pinned Gye Roedel (Kingfisher) in 1:13, then majored David Mendoza (Catoosa) 13-1. The next few matches were a lot closer as he edged out Timothy Trigg (Deer Creek) 3-2, then took down Josh Parks (Blanchard) 3-1 in a sudden victory round. His streak came to an end in the semifinals when he was pinned in 4:39 by freshman 6A State-Qualifier Spencer Schickram (Ponca City) who would go on to win the tournament. Portillo rebounded quickly with a 16-1 tech fall over Zack Mayes (Comanche), then defeated Roarke Simpson (Southmoore) by 7-4 decision for a third place finish.