By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
Two members of the Charles Page High School Class of 2015 have continued their impressive athletic careers at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. The Golden Norsemen (14-1) are currently ranked first in the nation in the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Cody Randall (13-11) and Caleb Basma (18-13) were lightweight members of the Sandite varsity squad. Both were State Qualifiers their senior years, and Randall placed third at State and made the All-State Dual Team.
NEO entered the season ranked tenth, and made a big statement in the opening week of dual season. First they shut out Neosho 46-0, then they hammered No. 3 Labette 45-3. The Sandites didn't wrestle those first two duals, but they've worked their way into the lineup since then.
The Norsemen took on No. 20 ranked Barton on November 15th and rolled to a commanding 41-6 victory as both Sandites picked up wins. Randall scored a 10-2 major decision over Greg Bentley in the opening match, then Basma had the biggest win of the night in a 5-4 upset decision over No. 4 Caysen Smith.
From there the Norsemen steamrolled Wentworth 60-0 and picked up the number one ranking in the NJCAA the following week. On January 5th Basma scored a 7-6 decision over James Taylor as the Norsemen defeated No. 17 NW Kansas Tech 38-3 at Dual Nationals. The Norsemen made it to the finals before falling 23-9 to Clackamas Community College.
On January 13th NEO traveled to Kearney, Nebraska for the UNK Midwest Duals and swept the tournament with five wins by a combined 215-30. The Norsemen hammered No. 7 Otero 42-9, aided by Randall with a 2-1 decision over Adrian Cordova. Basma topped Stuart Brandt 9-5 in a 34-12 victory over Jamestown, then beat Jesus Morales 8-4 in a 48-0 shutout of No. 15 NW Kansas Tech.
Basma currently leads the entire team in reversals this season with 9, and Randall is fifth with 5.
Basma placed in his first college tournament back in November at the Joe Parisi Open with a split record. He topped Berkeley Todd (Ellsworth CC) 5-2, pinned Clay Vincent (University of Oklahoma) in 1:17, and scored an 8-5 decision over JD Higdon (Hannibal-Lagrange) before suffering three-straight losses and taking sixth place.
Last weekend Basma came in Runner-Up at the Roger Denker Open in Warrensburg, Missouri at the University of Central Missouri. He defeated the home team's John Feeney 7-4, pinned Tyler Brown (Baker University) in 3:20, then beat Weston Cronan (Ouachita Baptist) 8-4 before falling 4-1 to Brandon Matlock of Grand View Iowa.
Randall placed in his first college tournament this weekend at NEO's Golden Norsemen Open. Both Randall and Basma took third in their team's home tournament.
Basma lost his opening match 19-4 to Oklahoma State freshman Gary Wayne Harding, but won out from there with four close decisions. He topped Dakota Bromley (Ouachita Baptist) 3-1 and Michael Sanchez (UCO) 8-4. Two matches went into overtime and Basma defeated Aaron Hane (UCO) 3-2 in a tie-breaker and took down Wyatt Alvis (Fort Hayes) 3-1 in sudden-victory to make his way to the consolation finals. In the placement match he prevailed 6-4 over Noah McQuigg of UCO.
Randall pinned his way to success, finishing four matches in only 6:24. He topped Christian Haynes (Bacone) in 0:20 and Tre Ponce (Labette) in 0:42 before falling 8-5 to Tim Null (UCO). In the consolations he pinned Westone Cronan (Ouachita) in 0:27 and Reid Pfiefer (Bacone) in 4:55.
The Golden Norsemen Open was the regular season finale for NEO, and the Norsemen will return to action February 11th at the NJCAA West-Central District Qualifier in Pratt, Kansas. If Basma or Randall qualify there, they will advance to the National Championships at Council Bluffs, Iowa on February 24th.