The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

February 15, 2014

Southmoore looks to take next step at Dual State

Group of unknown grapplers will be key



Along with Southmoore and BA, the field includes No. 2 Edmond North (9-0), No. 7 Muskogee (6-3), No. 1 Stillwater (17-0), No. 8 Midwest City (4-5), No. 4 Yukon (5-1) and No. 6 Tulsa Union (7-5).

“We have a really good team,” George said. “Fortunately, unfortunately, however you want to look at it, Oklahoma has a lot of highly ranked teams this year. Probably more than Oklahoma has had in 50 years. Every team there is really good. There is not a weak team at Dual State.”

Most of the teams competing have wrestlers who are destined to wrestle at the Division I college level. That includes Southmoore’s Nathan Marek (39-1), who has signed with Oklahoma.

“Conservatively, there are 11 to 13 Division I wrestlers in class 6A this year,” George said. “Normally there is two per year, which makes for a really strong field. If I had this team last year or maybe next year, we could probably be state champions. This year, it’s going to be tough just because everyone else is so strong also.”

But the title won’t be won by one wrestler. It will take an entire team. The SaberCats have a solid roster of grapplers who may not get the same attention as Marek, but have been just as pivotal to the team’s success. They include Drake Hodges (39-5), Ty Jackson (30-11), Gio Martinez (27-8), Zac Moore (32-6), Conor Dooling (32-8) and Jakobe Walker (25-10).

“Sometimes these kids get a little bit overshadowed because Nathan is Nathan,” George said. “Nathan is a great kid, but some of these guys deserve just as much recognition. He is a true D-I wrestler. And these guys are all great. They are wonderful kids. They deserve recognition, too. We have a lot of kids who’ve done a lot of good things. It’s just hard for them sometimes to be seen.

“We have a very good team, but so is everybody else. It will be a dog fight. Anything can happen.”

Michael Kinney

Follow me @eyeamtruth


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