By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The Charles Page High School varsity wrestling team (1-0) is on a roll to start the season, and may slip past No. 1 Choctaw (1-0) in the rankings soon. The OSSAA has two separate rankings for High School wrestling, one for tournaments and one for duals. Sand Springs is ranked second in both, but took first place this weekend at the prestigious Perry Tournament of Champions by a 27-point margin over the defending State Champions. They also won their first dual of the season last Tuesday without losing a single match.
Oklahoma State University-signed senior Daton Fix (5-0), a three-time undefeated State Champion, was name the Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament after becoming only the sixth wrestler in the tournament's history to win it all four years. Seniors Beau Bratcher (5-0) and Delvin Jordan (5-0) also picked up first-place wins. Bratcher was the State Runner-Up last season, while Jordan was a Regional Champion and defeated the previously undefeated State Champion Nic Roller, but was unable to compete at State.
Seniors Michael Ritchey (4-1) and Zane Basma (4-1) both took second place. Sophomore Riley Weir (5-1), senior Tanner Ward (5-1), senior Jack Karstetter (5-1), junior Payton Scott (5-1), and junior Gage Fain (5-1) placed third. Junior Blake Sargent (5-2) took fourth place and sophomore Noah Almy (5-3) took sixth place.
Weir, a State qualifier, made his season debut with the No. 2 ranking at 106 pounds and pinned Union's Cooper Gibson in 2:17. He scored a close 7-6 decision over Choctaw's No. 5 Gabe Johnson, but was majored 9-1 by Lawton MacArthur's Wyatt Adams, a two-time 5A State Champion. In the consolation bracket Weir won a 10-8 decision over Perry's 3A State Runner-Up Alex Valencia, then edged out Johnson 1-0 in a rematch for third-place.
Freshman Seth Jones (2-2) made an impressive varsity debut while wrestling unattached at 106. He pinned Kingfisher's Eric Gallupe in 2:27, then defeated Alex Valencia 5-2 before falling 6-3 to Edmond Memorial's Garrett Steidley. In the consolations he was defeated 9-5 by Gabe Johnson and got a rematch against Valencia. This time the Perry wrestler prevailed 4-3 and Jones took sixth place.
Tanner Ward is a State Runner-Up at the 3A level, and made his Sandite debut after transferring from Berryhill. He pinned Ark City's Christian Robinson in 3:18 and Yukon's Noah Hanscom in 0:39 before being edged out 8-7 by Perry freshman Dylan Avery. In the consolation bracket he scored back-to-back 5-2 decisions over Catoosa 4A State-placer Fabian Huerta and Union's No. 3 ranked TJ Long.
120 State-placer No. 3 ranked Michael Ritchey won his first four matches of the tournament before falling to 3A State Champion Cale Betchan of Perry. He won a close 2-1 decision over Kylon Burgert of Yukon and a 3-0 decision over Karson Bellmard of Ponca City, then majored Lawton MacArthur's Billy Gonzalez 10-0 before going down 4-1 to Betchan in the finals.
126 State-placer No. 3 ranked Blake Sargent won his first match 10-4 over No. 4 Jacob Swenson of Ponca City, but fell 7-1 in the semi-finals to 132 No. 3 Drew Wilson of Midwest City. In the consolations he defeated 113 No. 4 Wyatt Johnson of Owasso 6-3, then majored Pryor's 5A State-placer Von Gray 12-4. In the semi-finals he won a 9-3 decision over Perry's 3A State Runner-Up Brycen Justus before falling 7-1 to Choctaw State Runner-Up Conner Holman.
No. 1 Daton Fix worked his way through the 132 bracket with relative ease, winning two matches by pin and two by fall. Ponca City's No. 5 Dawson Hunt was pinned in 2:35 and Muskogee's Kyri Beasley was teched 18-3. He then pinned Ponca City No. 9 Dylan Schickram in 2:32 and teched Ark City's Montez Robinson 27-11 in 4:04.
138 No. 1 State Runner-Up Jack Karstetter pinned Chanute freshman Dalton Misener in 1:43, then edged out No. 8 Baylor Smith 3-2 before falling 3-1 to Kansas State Runner-Up Jake Beeson of Ark City. Beeson went on to defeated 145 No. 1 Jaxen Gilmore of Yukon 8-7 in the finals. Karstetter headed to the consolations where he put away No. 4 State-qualifier Seth Graves of Edmond Memorial 6-0. In the finals he once more defeated Baylor Smith, this time 6-2 for third place.
145 No. 2 Beau Bratcher handily worked his way through some tough competition for first place. He defeated Choctaw's Blake Muse 3-0, then pinned Blackwell's Braden Kincaid in 1:02. In the semifinals he scored a 5-1 decision over No. 8 Brandon Conrad, then he edged out Claremore 5A State Qualifier Trace Reeder 2-1 for the title.
Junior Cody Mathis competed at 152 and won his first match 12-8 over Owasso's Wyatt Wilson before falling 7-5 to Ark City's Colton Watters in a sudden victory overtime round. In the consolations he pinned Blackwell's Kris Lanman in 1:31 and defeated No. 8 Nenebah Biggoose of Ponca City 12-9 before getting pinned in 1:34 by Edmond Memorial's Kyle Knowles.
152 No. 2 State-placer Payton Scott wrestled up to 160 and won his first two matches before falling 3-2 to Choctaw State Champion Jaryn Curry. He pinned Owasso's Nolan Miller in 1:32 and scored a 22-8 major decision over Kingfisher's Austin Neal. In the consolation bracket he pinned No. 8 State qualifier Ezequiel Rubio of Ponca City in 0:59, then edged out Lawton MacArthur 5A State Runner-Up Hunter Jump 6-5 for third place.
160 No. 10 Noah Almy wrestled unattached and won his first two matches before falling to Jaryn Curry. He scored a 20-9 major decision over Muskogee's Mason Seth, then edged out Blackwell's Quinton Bolts 5-2 before getting pinned in 1:11 by Curry. In the consolations he defeated Edmond Memorial's Ben Parkhurst 7-1 and Austin Neal 12-5 before getting pinned in 4:57 by Hunter Jump. In the fifth-place match he was pinned in 2:50 by Ezequiel Rubio.
170 No. 2 State-placer Zane Basma defeated Harrah's Trey Winstead 6-3, then pinned Edmond Memorial's No. 7 State-qualifier Sam Hensley in 4:49. He scored a huge victory in an 8-2 upset of No. 1 State Champion Zane Coleman, but was in turn upset 9-6 by Claremore State-qualifier Austin Short.
While the Sandites are stacked at the lower weights and have several JV wrestlers who would be varsity at many 6A schools, they are limited at the upper weights and didn't wrestle anybody at 182 or 195.
At 220, No. 1 Delvin Jordan pinned all four of his opponents in only three minutes. He took down Blackwell's Todd Grey in only 18 seconds, Chanute's Qualin Powell in 26 seconds, Ponca City's No. 4 State-qualifier Austin Fry in 38 seconds, and Perry's State-qualifier Bailey Burdik in 1:42.
At Heavyweight, Gage Fain scored a 4-2 decision over Lawton MacArthur's Brandon Lawton, then defeated Ark City's State Champion Tyler Shannon 5-2, before being pinned in 1:06 by Choctaw's No. 4 State-placer Zach Austin. In the consolations he majored Ponca City's Brett Bridges 12-2, then defeated Shannon 1-0 in a rematch for third place.
Overall the Sandites had thirteen placers, more than any other team. Both Choctaw and Sand Springs had three Champions, but the Yellowjackets had four finalists to the Sandites' five, and only ten total placers. The host team, 3A No. 1 Perry (2-0) came in third with two champions, four finalists, and nine total placers.
The Sandites took on No. 15 Owasso (1-1) last week and only gave up six points on a forfeit at 195 pounds. Owasso forfeited the 106 and 113 weight classes and started with a 12-0 deficit before the wrestling even started. Michael Ritchey handily worked over Tristan Herrera with an 11-0 major decision at 120, and 126 Blake Sargent edged out 113 No. 4 Wyatt Johnson with a 3-2 decision to make it 19-0.
Fix picked up a pin in 3:20 over Jesse Gomez. 138 Jack Karstetter won a 12-6 decision over No. 8 Baylor Smith and 145 Beau Bratcher edged No. 8 Brandon Conrad with a 4-1 decision for a 31-0 advantage.
Cody Mathis scored a 16-5 major decision over Wyatt Wilson at 152, and Payton Scott stepped up to 160 and pinned Nolan Miller in 1:07. Noah Almy moved up to 170 and won a close 9-8 decision over Jared McLaughlin and Zane Basma moved up to 182 for a 3:44 pin of 170 No. 8 Kaleb Mertz.
Owasso finally got on the board with a forfeit at 195, then forfeited 220 to the Sandites. In the heavyweight class junior Gage Fain (5-1), ranked fifth in 195, pinned 220 No. 10 Cameron Harizal in 2:43 to wrap things up.
The Sandites will return to action this Friday when they travel to the prestigious Kansas City Stampede. Several Oklahoma teams will be at the tournament, including 4A No. 1 Tuttle, 3A No. 1 Perry, 5A No. 2 Collinsville, No. 4 Edmond North, No. 8 Stillwater, No. 12 Ponca City, and unranked Southmoore. The Sandites are ranked No. 26 in the nation by InterMat Wrestling, but they won't be the only nationally ranked team present. Tuttle is ranked No. 22 in the nation, and No. 25 Goddard High, and No. 44 Park Hill will also be competing.
Daton Fix is a three-time champion at the event, and will have the opportunity to become only the third wrestler in the tournament's history to sweep all four years.