By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The Oklahoma USA Wrestling spring season kicked off earlier this month and several Sand Springs wrestlers made it out to opening weekend at Bixby High School. While wrestlers spend the winter competing in Folkstyle competition, which is mostly native to American high schools and colleges, in the summer they get to hone their skills in the two Olympic styles: Freestyle and Greco-Roman.
The Team BIG wrestling club meets and trains in the Charles Page High School wrestling room and is coached by Derek Fix, Chris Forbes, TeDon Fleischman, and Kyle Waag. They have put forward several international wrestlers in recent years, including Youth Olympic Silver Medalist Daton Fix, Pan-American Champion Carter Young, and Pan-American Silver Medalists Christian Forbes and Jack Karstetter just to name a few.
CPHS senior Michael Ritchey (2-0 FS) competed in his first event since the 2017 OSSAA State Tournament in February and took first place at 138 pounds in Junior Freestyle with a pair of technical falls.
Jenks junior Austin Daniels joined Team BIG and took third place at 145 lbs in Junior Freestyle with a pin and two tech falls.
Skiatook 8th grader Brian Pollard competed at 170 lbs Cadet in both styles and took first in each. He won Freestyle with three tech falls and a thirty second pin, then won Greco with a tech fall and a twelve second pin.
Clyde Boyd Middle School 8th grader Carter Young (3-0 FS, 2-0 GR) competed at 106 lbs Cadet in both styles and took first in each. He won freestyle with two tech falls and a pin and won Greco with a tech fall and a forfeit.
Skiatook 8th grader Josh Taylor competed at 126 lbs Cadet in both styles and took second in each. He won a tech fall in Freestyle and pinned Union sophomore State Qualifier TJ Long (Team NEO) in 1:32 in Greco.
Mannford freshman State-qualifier Colby Jerome competed at 182 lbs Cadet in both styles and took third in each. He won a tech fall in Freestyle and received a forfeit in Greco.
Ryker Collins (2-0 FS, 2-1 GR) competed at 160 lbs Schoolboy in both styles and took first in each. He won Freestyle with a tech fall and a decision. In Greco he drew only one opponent but won the best-of-three series for first place with a pair of decisions.
Braden Anderson (1-1 FS, 1-1 GR) competed at 112 lbs Schoolboy in both styles and place second in each with a pair of close decisions.
Clay Gates (0-2 FS) competed at 91 lbs Schoolboy in Freestyle and lost a pair of close decisions.
Nation Johnson (2-0 FS, 3-1 GR) competed at 80 lbs Intermediate in both styles and medaled in each. He took first place in Freestyle with a forfeit and a tech fall, then placed second in Greco with a pin, a tech fall, and a forfeit.
Promised Johnson (3-1 FS, 2-2 GR) competed at 70 lbs Intermediate in both styles and medaled in each. He came in second in Freestyle with two decisions and a technical fall, then placed third in Greco with a tech fall and a pin.
Clayton Giddens (2-0 FS) competed at 70 lbs Novice in Freestyle and took first place with one forfeit and one tech fall.
Robert Burke (2-0 FS, 1-1 GR) competed at 65 lbs Novice in both styles but drew only one competitor for each. He defeated Christopher Kiser twice by decision for first place in Freestyle, but Kiser won in Greco.
Balance Johnson (1-1 FS, 2-0 GR) competed at 112 lbs Novice in both styles. He placed second in Freestyle with a tech fall and a loss to teammate Abraham Flores, but defeated Flores twice in a best-of-three for first place in Greco.
Grady Mittasch (3-0 FS, 2-2 GR) competed at 75 lbs Novice in both styles and medaled in each. He took first place in Freestyle with two pins and a tech fall, then took third in Greco with two tech falls.
Abraham Flores (2-0 FS, 0-2 GR) competed at 112 lbs Novice in both styles. He won Freestyle with a tech fall and a decision over teammate Balance Johnson, but Johnson the best-of-three in Greco.