Collinsville still No. 1 despite injuries, illness: Despite some adversity such as injuries and illnesses that have kept some of its best wrestlers off the mat lately, Collinsville is right where it wants to be right now.
The three-time defending Class 5A champion just finished third in the Bobcat Classic in Basehor, Kan., against difficult competition.
With several former state placers out of the lineup, including 2013 state champion Christian Moody, the No. 1-ranked Cardinals excelled anyway. Senior Gary Wayne Harding, who won state in the 126-pound weight class last year, prevailed at 132, pinning his first opponent in just 4 seconds.
Facing elite-level opponents during the season may make for a grueling schedule, but the coach sees it as the best way to prepare for the matches that really matter in February.
"I'm not worried about winning these tournaments," coach Wes Harding said. "In fact, we go to tournaments trying to get them beat because that's what makes them better. They might not be able to win at some of these tournaments we're going to, but we'll have kids winning regionals that have a .500 record and that's because of the competition we've faced. You're only as good as your competition, and if you don't get outside of Oklahoma, you don't really know where you're at on the national level. We've got several kids ranked nationally, and that's why we go to these out-of-state tournaments.
"You want everybody to peak at dual state, regionals and state, and that's what our goal is, to win those."
Union continuing to make progress: With a fifth-place finish at the Bobby Lyons Invitational in Sand Springs last weekend, Union coach Kevin Crutchmer was happy with how his squad performed.
The Redskins' only finalist was Wyatt Ellis, who was pinned in 1:54 in the 170-pound final by Stillwater three-time state champion Chandler Rogers.
"The kids came out and wrestled real hard," Crutchmer said. "We're still in a progression period with our team. This tournament is really tough it's a preview of what the regional tournament is going to be like and even the state tournament. We're pleased with the kids' effort."
Union also had two consolation final winners, Colby Wilson (152 pounds) and Moses Mayhue (160). Michale Billups (138) and Chance Wenglewski (195) lost consolation matches in overtime.
Sand Springs' Fix becoming comfortable with experience: He arrived on the high school wrestling scene with a lot of hype, and so far, Sand Springs freshman Daton Fix has not disappointed.
With a dominating win 23-6 by technical fall over Broken Arrow's Damon Hail, in the 113 final at the Lyons tournament on Saturday, Fix improved to 21-0. He has continued to improve as he gains experience. He was barely tested in the tournament, pinning his opponents in the quarterfinals and semifinals.
"He's one of the nicest young men you'll ever meet until the whistle blows," Sandites coach Kelly Smith said. "And he truly goes out there to try and dominate and that's the right word everybody he wrestles. He almost takes every point (against) personal, and I think that's what makes him such a unique character and (why he) does so well."
Fix said he tries not to pay much attention to what's being said about him.
"It's not bad. You just got to let everybody talk and go do what you got to do," Fix said. "Just go out there and wrestle every match. I'm still trying to get better every day, just working on more technique."