By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Enid’s wrestlers got their money’s worth from their recent trip to the Oklahoma State University team camp.
Not only did they get instruction from OSU head coach John Smith, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and 2012 bronze medalist Coleman Scott, but they had 14 duals against teams from across Oklahoma and America.
“That’s more duals than we’ll wrestle in an entire season,’’ said Enid coach Corey Clayton. “It was a great experience for everyone.’’
Clayton reports the Plainsmen were 7-7 in the duals, including wins over archrival Ponca City, Geary, Steinbrenner (Florida), Edmond Santa Fe, Buena Vista, Colo., Columbus Scotus, Neb., and Kingfisher.
Some of the losses came to all-star teams from Iowa and Kansas.
“It didn’t matter how many duals you won or lost,’’ Clayton said. “It was about getting mat time and trying to work some new technique.’’
Still, a win over traditional power Ponca City is encouraging. Clayton couldn’t ever remember Enid beating the Wildcats in a regular season dual.
“That’s a big step in the right direction,’’ Clayton said. “It tells the kids we’re going in the right direction. It’s like taking a test in class. It’s a measure to see where we need to stand. It was good to fare 7-7 against that type of competition.’’
Clayton said seven of the 17 Enid wrestlers attending won at least 70 percent of their matches.
Those were freshman Keanu Quinn, 106; Billy Grothe, 134; Troy Gray, 139; John Glasgow, 143; Keegan Clayton, 161; newcomer Caleb Harris, a move-in from Georgia, 220; and Zach Overbeck, heavyweight.
Mason Dillard, another heavyweight, won most of his matches before injuring a hamstring. He was kept out of the remainder of the duals for precaution.
“Again, it doesn’t matter if you go 7-7, 14-0 or 0-14,’’ Clayton said. “What makes a difference is where you go from here ... how much you improve.’’
Clayton said Enid’s technique foundation is solid, but was looking to improve on the little things.
“When you’re learning from a John Smith or a Coleman Scott, you try to find one or two things they have evolved from whatever you’re doing and add a new wrinkle or twist and pull a few things back to help the kids to be a little more successful at what they are already doing.’’
Clayton, who wrestled for Smith at OSU, follows his old coach’s philosophy of always evolving your style.
“You don’t go in a camp like this and try to re-write everything,’’ Clayton said. “Coach Smith always told us you have to constantly evolve your technique ... when you get a move that is highly successful, someone will try to find a way to counter that ... you’ve got to find ways to stop that counter move.’’
Clayton said he was pleased with the numbers at camp. It gave the team a chance to bond and learn from Olympians. The team “got a nice picture with Smith.’’
“It was really good seeing the kids work on the stuff they pick up from coach Smith and Coleman Scott,’’ Clayton said
Scott will conduct a camp Aug. 2 in Enid, sponsored by Edward Jones.
Clayton has been pleased with the off-season. The wrestlers are participating in the football team’s Summer Pride conditioning and weight lifting program.
“It’s been excellent for them,’’ Clayton said. “We were in better shape than a lot of the guys we wrestling. We weren’t in bad shape with what coach (Jory) Dick left behind.
“The football coaches have worked them incredibly hard. I think it will not only pay off for wrestling, but football and basketball, too.’’
Harris, Clayton said, should be a “great addition to our program.’’
“He has fit in real well,’’ he said. “He’s a hard worker and he knows how to wrestle. We have some good upper weights. He will make a good partner for those guys.’’
The wrestlers will have some open mat time in July before the Scott camp. Workouts will start the first day of school.