By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
Sand Springs has a long and impressive history when it comes to wrestling, but 2016 is well on its way to becoming one of the best years yet. Dual State Runners-Up, eleven State Qualifiers, six Regional Champions, one State Champion, and that was just during the school year.
As the saying goes, "Summer wrestling makes Winter Champions." Since the school year ended, the Sandites haven't even slowed down. Charles Page senior Daton Fix won a Freestyle National Championship and is headed to the World Championships in France this August. Senior Jack Karstetter came in Runner-Up in Greco-Roman at Nationals and is headed to the Pan-Ams in Peru in July. But it's not just the upperclassmen building up their resumes. Clyde Boyd Middle School eighth-grader Carter Young is working hard on the national scene as well.
After winning the OKUSA Youth Wrestling League State Championship, the Junior High Allstate Wrestling Championship, the OKUSA Freestyle and Greco Roman State Championships, and the Southern Plains Regional Championships in both Greco and Freestyle, Young most recently found himself in Indianapolis, Indiana for the Schoolboy Dual National Championships.
Competing as part of Team Oklahoma Red, alongside fellow Team BIG wrestlers Christian Forbes and Cougar Andersen, Young was one of the most crucial members of the team, going undefeated in both Greco-Roman and Freestyle.
On day one of Greco, the Oklahoma Outlaws dominated Team Idaho, winning eleven of seventeen matches for a 53-23 victory. Young defeated Christopher Martino 10-0 in his match. In the next dual, however, it was Team Washington with the edge on Oklahoma. Young won a 10-3 decision over Kenndyl Mobley, but Washington won ten matches for a 42-31 victory.
Thursday the Outlaws began working their way up through the consolation bracket, winning a pair of tough duals over Missouri and Utah before falling to Pennsylvania Red. The Outlaws had a 45-30 edge on Missouri, winning ten matches including a 10-0 tech fall by Young over Cody Ketchum. The Oklahoma team won eleven matches against Utah and Young picked up yet another 10-0 tech fall over Sage Mortimer for a 47-32 victory.
The Okies met their match in Pennsylvania after leading for most of the dual. It was back-and-forth for the first half and the Outlaws led by as much as 30-16 before giving up a yellow card and six straight matches for a final score of 41-29. Young won his match, however, with an 11-0 tech fall over Sheldon Seymour to remain undefeated in the tournament.
On Friday the Outlaws’ third place finish in Pool A landed them in the Bronze/Copper bracket where they swept the competition with four straight victories.
Young scored a 12-0 tech fall over Zachary Espalin, helping his team to a 44-33 win over Virginia. Next to fall was Indiana Gold 48-30 after the Okies won eleven matches, including a 10-0 tech fall by Young.
The Okies scored another dominating victory over Arizona at 51-29, winning eleven matches yet again. Young continued to breeze through his competition with his sixth-straight shutout tech fall, this time over Nathan Bigelow.
In the finals, the Outlaws got another rematch against Utah and once again came out with the advantage, winning ten matches for a final score of 43-34. Young continued his streak with a 11-0 victory over Mortimer.
The Oklahoma team claimed first in the Bronze/Copper Pool, placing them at ninth in the nation out of thirty-two teams. Three Team Oklahoma wrestlers earned All-American status in Greco, including Young with a final record of 9-0.
In Freestyle the boys did even better, placing seventh out of thirty-five teams.
In round one the Outlaws smoked Tennessee 60-20, losing only four matches while resting Young. The Sandite returned to action in the next round in a 58-19 domination of Utah and Young beat Mortimer for the third time that week 10-0.
Young sat out round three as the Outlaws easily handled Colorado Blue 56-18, and returned to action in the Pool A finals. He defeated Bob Houpt 10-0, but team finally lost their first dual of the tournament 48-27 to Washington.
In the true-second dual Oklahoma earned their way into the Gold/Silver bracket with a 48-29 victory over Missouri, including another 10-0 win over Ketchum from Young.
Young received a forfeit from Illinois in the first round of the Gold Pool as his team won 48-27.
His streak of seven-straight tech falls finally came to an end in a close match with Jett Strickenberger. Young got the 10-6 decision, but Colorado Red defeated the Okies 48-30.
Young didn’t wrestle against New Jersey in the next round, and it may have made the difference as the Outlaws fell 41-38, including a loss in the 77 pound position that Young normally occupies.
In the seventh place match against Arizona, he returned to action with a 10-0 tech fall over Nathan Bigelow and the Oklahoma team finished seventh overall.
Young is currently riding a twenty-two-straight winning streak and a 65-5 record for the year. He was also named an All-American in Freestyle.
This story was originally published in the Sandite Pride News Weekly Sunday edition.