NORMAN — After a successful year, the Noble Bears’ wrestling team is gearing up for another great season.
Jason Bailey, coach, has worked hard in his short time in Noble to build it. In January he was named High School Midwest Conference Coach of the Year and more recently, 5-A Coach of the year in May. But mostly, he takes pride in his team.
“This is the second season we wound up finishing in the top 10,” Bailey said.
The Bears won two different tournaments, came in second in conference, came fourth in Duncan and won the Little Axe tournament, which was a feat, according to Bailey.
“This is the first time someone besides Little Axe won that tournament,” Bailey said. “We have eight all-conference wrestlers this year, four conference champions, and we had five state qualifiers. We went from zero to nine qualifiers in the two years I’ve been here and I’ve only graduated one qualifier,” namely J.E. Bailey, Jr., who will be wrestling at Bacone College in Muskogee.
Of J.E. Bailey Jr., coach said, “he had a great season.” The younger Bailey was Midwest Conference champion, All State All Star by Class, and he won third in regionals making him a two time state qualifier.
But that’s not all. In freestyle wrestling, the team had a state champion and runner up and three third placers. There were three champions at Midwestern conference and eight out of 14 weights also placed.
Over the last two seasons, several wrestlers earned their All State jackets and rings including Hunter Long (All State), Austin Anderson (All Star by Class), J.E. Bailey Jr. (All Star by Class and All State Honorable Mention) and Anthony Acosta (All Star by Class).
Those are some pretty stunning statistics, and Bailey said he intends to keep the momentum up. Last year, Noble hosted the All State All Star by Class competition and Bailey said he wants to host the match every year.