NORMAN — Bo Maynes remembers it this way.
“One dual. Two duals. Four duals,” he said. “Six duals, this year.”
You have to like a coach who views the wrestling season through the lens of victorious duals. It is, after all, the best measure of team success. Also, you have to appreciate Maynes and his Norman High history.
He was six years removed from four seasons under Oklahoma wrestling coach Jack Spates when he took over the Tiger program five years ago. That first season, he had eight seniors. That second season, they were gone and the program was left to start over.
His second year in the NHS wrestling room was the program’s ground zero. It’s where it all began again. It is the starting point of where the Tigers find themselves today, sending four grapplers into the Class 6A brackets at the state wrestling tournament at State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City.
The list includes a couple seniors in Derek Ross (113 pounds) and Colin Pasque (138) and a couple juniors in Cael Stumpff (195) and Nigel Jolliffie (106).
Nobody can remember the last time the Tigers sent four to the state tournament. And, says, Maynes, they thought they could get five. And two more placed at regionals. So maybe next year they get four or five.
Whatever, the story’s clear.
The Tigers have come back.
None are supposed to win state titles. Then again, you never know and everybody could place. The Tigers are a working man’s grappling program.
“This has been the year we’re seeing a lot of the results,” Maynes said. “You reap what you sow.”
Everybody feels like they’re a part of something that’s been getting better the last four years and will continue to get better for years to come.