The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


December 15, 2013

Facilities make for good sports weekend

ENID, Okla. — This weekend was a prime example of “if you build it, they will come.’’

The Mid-America Wrestling Nationals at the Enid Event Center and the OBA Prep Classic basketball tournament at the Chisholm Trail Expo Center Coliseum both brought good crowds into the Wheat Capital and that can only be good news for merchants and restaurant and hotel owners.

As Enid wrestling coach Corey Clayton said, tournaments such as these give Enid exposure to outside northwest Oklahoma of how much there was to do here.

The new Event Center was one reason Enid was able to host the Mid-America tournament for the first time, an event started by Clayton while at Union.

One couldn’t tell this was the first time Enid had hosted a major high school wrestling tournament.

The tournament ran on time, and maybe a little bit ahead of schedule, and there were no glitches. The public address announcer kept fans in touch with who was on what mat.

While some outsiders were brought in, the tournament was successful because of the work of local volunteers.

Scorekeepers manned the post of six mats for most of Saturday and Friday — no easy task.

Clayton, before the event, said he hoped the quality of the tournament would bring much needed exposure to the sport locally.

Those Enid middle school and high school wrestlers not participating,were volunteers. They got to see such talent as three-time defending state champion Gary Wayne Harding, who beat Tyler Mies of Andale, Kan., 11-2.

Harding not only had a wrestling-sounding name, but a cauliflower ear to go with it. He showed why he’s bound for Oklahoma State with his mindset.

He came off the mat disappointed. He said he set out to try pin of all his opponents. He said he’s never satisfied, which is one of the reasons for his success.

He chose Oklahoma State over many of other offers because of OSU coach John Smith, a two-time Olympic champion. He felt Smith is the best coach in the country and can make him the best wrestler he can be.

Harding said there might be more pressure on him instead of less because he signed early.

While he said most would feel there’s less pressure knowing where he was going to go, he said there’s actually more because he didn’t want to disappoint Smith or make him look bad.

Harding complimented the facility, saying how good it was to wrestle there and how his teammates already are looking forward to returning next year.

The Plainsmen program also took a step forward this weekend with three placers — Zach Overbeck, second, 220; Billy Grothe, fourth, 132; and Caleb Harris, fifth, 195.

Enid was 11th in the 18-team field, but did finish ahead of Sapulpa, which is currently ranked ahead of the Plainsmen.

The OBA tournament may have shown the depth of area basketball. Traditional boys powers Okarche and Ripley were playing for seventh place — a rare occurrence.

Alva’s girls, the 3A state runner-up a year ago, appears ready for another deep run. Sophomore Jaden Hobbs had 70 points during the tournament in leading the Ladybugs to the girls championship.

Lane Madsen had 49 points in leading the boys to the title. Riley Hess, who had 31 points, though, was the MVP. Pioneer’s Colby Koontz could be the area’s dominant player as evidenced by his 59 points in the tournament, and 27 against OBA on Tuesday.

That whets one’s appetite for the Wheat Capital Tournament at Chisholm Jan. 9-11 where Paul Outhier Fieldhouse should be rocking again.

Campbell is a News & Eagle sports writer.쇓

Text Only
  • Christian Voitik Missed chances, controversial call end Majors' season

    For the second time in a little over 24 hours, the Enid Majors had a lead in the Connie Mack South Plains Regional Tournament, and for the second time they couldn’t hold it.
    On Wednesday, it ended their season.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Minors fall in Alva

    The Enid Minors became the first of the South Plains Regional’s two co-hosts to be eliminated, spoiling a 5-0 lead to fall 9-7 to Texas Stix Black Wednesday in an elimination game in Alva.

    July 23, 2014

  • David Clyde Ex-MLBer goes from pitching phenom to Connie Mack coach

    David Clyde was a picture of contentment after his Houston Miracles shut out the Texas Stix Black of the Dallas area 4-0 in the first round of the Connie Mack South Plains Regional Tuesday at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Majors fall Majors stumble late, fall to regional losers' bracket

    Cherry Creek, Colo., broke out for six runs in the top of the seventh for a 7-3 come-from-behind victory over the Enid Majors in the first round of the Connie Mack South Plains Regional Tuesday at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bob Stoops Sooners, as usual, managing expectations

    High hopes are always attached to Oklahoma and this year is no different with the Sooners entering the 2014 season as a consensus pick to reach the first College Football Playoff.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mike Gundy Former OSU line coach having impact on Texas staff

    It was quite possibly the biggest coaching coup of the offseason and Oklahoma State was at the wrong end of it – former Cowboy offensive line coach Joe Wickline joining the staff for Charlie Strong's Texas Longhorns.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Charlie Strong Texas’ Strong prefers not talking national title

    Charlie Strong riled up plenty of Texas fans during a statewide spring tour by saying the Longhorns wouldn’t be in the national championship game.
    The new coach toned down his honest assessment in future stops, then said Tuesday in his first appearance at Big 12 media days that he prefers not even talking about championships.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • A new ACC? New ACC settles into era of stability

    Welcome to the new Atlantic Coast Conference.
    It’s where a founding member is out, a fast-rising program is in, Notre Dame is there, too — sort of — and nobody else is leaving.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Devonte Fields TCU’s Fields investigated for alleged assault

    TCU suspended defensive end Devonte Fields on Tuesday pending the results of a police investigation into whether he punched a former girlfriend in the head and threatened her with a gun while shouting, “I should blast you!”

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Minors lose in first round

    Wren Perry and Garrett Scudder combined for a two-hitter as the D-Bats Gallegos of Dallas run-ruled the Enid Minors 8-0 in six innings in the first round of the South Plains Regional Tuesday at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.

    July 22, 2014

Click here for NASCAR headlines
Sports Photos

Enid News & Eagle sports photos from the month of February 2014. Enjoy all the ENE photos with full access at