OKLAHOMA CITY — Rosemary Berry stood in the top row of State Fair Arena, saying a few prayers and hanging on every move and every second as her son wrestled for a state championship below.
She didn’t have anything to worry about.
Norman North junior Levi Berry decisively handled Ponca City’s Brannon Hunt, 14-5, to claim the school’s third individual state championship and wrap up two weeks of his life he’ll never forget.
Berry, a state champion as a freshman and state runner-up as a sophomore at Tuttle, didn’t wrestle the entire regular season because of a question about his residency after his transfer to North. And it wasn’t until the week of the regional tournament that he was officially cleared to compete.
Two weekends later, he was back on top of the podium in the Big House as Class 6A’s 160-pound champion.
“I’m just so excited to be back on the mat,” Berry said. “There were people who were saying I couldn’t do it in 6A and now that I have, it’s phenomenal.”
After surviving a close semifinal Friday against Bixby’s Mason Thompson, Berry controlled things throughout against Hunt, scoring all four of the takedowns in the match and really never was in danger.
He spread around a lot of credit for keeping in shape during his non-season, from Coach Greg Henning’s encouragement to several teammates who worked him hard in the North wrestling room on a daily basis. Berry was there every time North wrestled this season, supporting and encouraging his teammates.
Even in doing what he had, the lack of outside competition made this a tough scenario, even if it made tournament days during the regular season a little less stressful for Mom.
“It’s such a disadvantage, because no matter what you are doing to stay in shape it isn’t going to feel like it is in a match,” Berry said.