By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
Enid’s wrestlers will face the challenge of No. 2-ranked Broken Arrow head-on when the Plainsmen host the Tigers at 7 tonight at Waller Middle School.
It’s the district opener for both teams. Enid lost to Ponca City 40-24 in its opening dual last week, but finished 10th at the talent-laden Mid-America Nationals last weekend at Enid Event Center.
Broken Arrow, ranked in the top 20 nationally, was ninth out of 85 teams at the Ironman Wrestling Tournament at Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, last weekend.
“That’s considered to be the toughest tournament in the country,’’ Enid coach Corey Clayton said. “It’s going to be a good challenge for us.’’
Broken Arrow had four place in the top 20 at the event — Markus Simmons, fourth, 120; Steven Allen, sixth, 220; Davion Jeffries, eighth, 126; and Tanner Bailey, eighth, 126.
The Tigers, who returned six state qualifiers, had two state champions — Jeffries and 138-pounder Shey Conley — move in.
“We just have to take it one match at a time,’’ Clayton said. “Each individual will try to win each scramble. If we do that, the match will take care of itself.
“We can’t get overwhelmed with who we are wrestling. We have to do what we do and do it the best we can.’’
Clayton said he’s not certain what lineup the Tigers will bring.
The dual will be important for standouts such as Billy Grothe (132), Keegan Clayton (160), Caleb Harris (195), Zach Overbeck (220) and Mason Dillard (285) as far as regional seedings are concerned.
Anthony Gonzales, who was fifth last year at 145 as a freshman, might be making his season debut tonight.
Broken Arrow has been wrestling Zack Edwards at Grothe’s 132 pounds. Edwards was 2-2 in Ohio.Gavin Reese, who has been going at 160, was 0-2 in Ohio. Gage Kaiser, who has been going at 195, was 0-2 in Ohio; Trenton Lieurance, who has been at 285, was 0-2 in Ohio.
Overbeck (4-3) was second at the Mid-America Tournament while Grothe (5-3) and Harris (5-3) were fourth and fifth. Clayton (4-3) and Dillard (3-4) were both seventh.
The rest of the EHS lineup will have Kenau Quinn (1-5) at 106 or 113, Austin Loza (1-5) at 113 or 120, Troy Gray (1-0) or Porter North (1-5) at 138, Johnny Glasgow (3-5) at 145, John Choi (2-5) or Anthony Gonzales (0-0) at 152, Issac Barron (1-0) at 170, and Andy Reyes (3-4) at 182.
EHS finished ahead of Westmoore and Sapulpa, both of whom were ahead of the Plainsmen in the OSSAA rankings at the Mid-America.
“I hope we can build on that,’’ Clayton said. “I think our lineup will continue to get stronger once we get some guys down to their normal weight. We didn’t have Troy Gray last week and I think he would have scored some points.’’
The JV matches will begin at 6. There will be no junior high matches.
The Plainsmen will go to the Norman Tournament Friday and Saturday.