ENID, Okla. — After 40-plus years, Enid’s wrestlers will finally have a true home dual Tuesday.
The Plainsmen host Norman at 5 p.m. and Edmond Santa Fe at 7 p.m. in the first-ever duals at Enid’s new on-campus gym. Santa Fe and Norman will go at 6.
The Plainsmen in the past have wrestled at Waller Middle School, Northern Oklahoma College Enid’s Mabee Center, Mark Price Arena and what is now the Enid Public Schools Administrative Services Center.
Enid has already benefitted from having its own wrestling room inside the facility instead of having to go to Emerson Middle School for practice.
“It’s exciting,’’ said Enid coach Trent Holland. “The kids have waited a long time for this. We can now go right out of our wrestling room to our home floor to wrestle. We don’t have to shift mats from one school to the other. We’re extremely grateful for everyone who helped put it together ... the planning and the building.’’
The wrestling room is something the Plainsmen can use as a foundation for their program. For the first time, the Plainsmen can permanently recognize state champions, college All-Americans and USA Wrestling All-Americans.
“We can show where we have come from,’’ Holland said.
Attendance will be limited to wrestling parents, but it will be screened at epsvision.tv. It’s the first time wrestling matches have been available online.
Enid is No. 14 in the latest rankings at OSSAARankings.com. Norman and Edmond Santa Fe are not ranked.
Norman finished 10 points over Enid at last month’s Norman Invitational. Santa Fe finished behind both teams in eighth place.
It’s the first dual for both Enid and Norman. Santa Fe fell to Putnam City North, 56-18 in its lone dual.
Enid went 4-4 against Norman wrestlers at the Norman Tournament and 3-1 against Santa Fe.
“Duals are a little different from tournaments,’’ Holland said. “It would be great for the kids’ morale if we can win. There’s no doubt that we will come out excited about wrestling in the new facility. All the things are here. It’s going to be great.’’
The Plainsmen are coming off a fourth-place finish at last week’s Glenpool Warrior Classic Tournament. EHS crowned two individual champions in Chance Davis, 170 and Carlos Alvarado, 195. Daigen Gibbens was second at 182. Hector Perez was third at 106.
“We have been able to watch some more video on the guys and fine tune some things,’’ Holland said. “We have been pinpointing areas that we need to work on.’’
The tentative lineup for Tuesday will have Perez (5-3), 106; Payton Zweifel (3-5), 113; Zach Fortner (6-4), 120; Jason Pearson (2-5), 126; Steven Brooks (5-4), 138; Jonathan White (7-3), 145; Leslie Fortner (1-3), 152; Mykel Woolsey (2-2) or Dylan Baker (0-4), 160; Davis (9-1) or Daigen Gibbens (6-1), 170; Tyler Holland (4-1), 182; Alvarado (8-1), 195; and Seth Melvin (4-3), 285.
Holland expects to fill voids at 132 and 220.
“I think we can do some stuff with our lineup where we can be able to fill up all the weights,’’ Holland said.
Holland said there might be some JV or girls varsity matches depending on how many wrestlers Norman or Santa Fe bring.
Returning state qualifier Trent Zweifel and 2019 state qualifier Johnny Villa remain out with injuries. Holland said he did not know when they will be able to return.
“We’re just looking to get after it,’’ Holland said. “We’re looking for a lot of improvement in the matches that we have wrestled against Norman and Santa Fe at the tournament. We want to see how much improvement we have made in individual areas that we have worked on.’’