The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 12, 2012

Enid faces tall order against No. 3 Sapulpa

By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The tight confines of Waller Middle School could work in Enid’s favor tonight when the Plainsmen host district rival Sapulpa in a 7 p.m. dual.

The Chieftains are ranked No. 3 for duals and No. 6 for tournaments by the Oklahoma Wrestling website.

“The Waller gym reminds me of the gym in “Hoosiers’’ they were calling a cage,’’ said Enid coach Jory Dick. “The fans are right there on top of the mat. It’s a fun environment ... that makes it exciting. It will be awesome to have a big facility, but Rocky (fictional Balboa) won a boxing title and all he did was punch a side of beef.’’

The Plainsmen might feel like Rocky against Apollo Creed. Sapulpa won last year’s dual, 55-0.

Sapulpa has six wrestlers ranked by the Oklahoma Wrestling website: Cambdon Pepper, No. 8, 138; Shea Conley, No. 6, 145; Bob Daniels, No. 5, 160; Brandon Watkins, No. 8, 170; Kristen Mendez, No. 8, 182; and Jacob Busby, No. 9, 195.

Jake Scott is the lone Plainsman ranked. He is No. 3 at 220.

“We’ll be ready for them no matter who shows up,’’ Dick said. “I don’t think they can come in here and run over us. We’re continuing to improve. We want the opportunity to compete. There’s going to be a winner or loser. We’ll see which side which we end up on.’’

The Plainsmen took only six wrestlers to last week’s Perry Tournament because of illness and other conflicts. Two Plainsmen — 170-pounder Hank Schulz and 145-pounde Dolan Burroughs — came within a win of placing.

“We can’t be happy with that,’’ Dick said, “but you can’t be upset when you have two guys as young as they were producing like they did, We’re excited to have all my guys healthy. I expect great things from them.’’

EHS is scheduled to go with a lineup of Joseph D’Auteuil at 106, Troy Gray at 120, Billy Grothe at 126, Scott Phillips at 132, Tony Saladio at 138, John Choi or Burroughs at 145, Keegan Clayton at 152, Hunter Nixon at 160, Schulz at 170, Andy Reyes at 182, Zach Overbeck at 195, Scott at 220 and Mason Dillard or Gavin Richmond at 285 (heavyweight).

“We had one of our best practices up to date on Monday,’’ Dick said. “Everybody is keeping track of their weight and doing the right things. When they are doing that type of stuff on their own, you know you’re moving in the right direction.’’

The Plainsmen will be wrestling against some of Texas’ best at the Dallas Duals Saturday.