5A Review

5A Review
The Collinsville and Skiatook wrestling teams might be the most intense rivalry going in all of Oklahoma, and I’m not just talking wrestling. The two towns are only separated by 9 miles, and the talent gap between the two teams seems much closer than that. Both teams walked away from the state tournament with a first place trophy last year, as they tied for 1st with 137 points. The 2020 state tournament looks as if it could just as close. Looking at Collinsville’s lineup it is easy to see how I have them #1. They are led by 3x state champ Caleb Tanner, 2019 state champ Cameron Steed, and 2019 state champ Jordan Williams. They also return state placers Wyatt Hartley-3rd and Kolten Allphin-3rd 2018. And as if they needed help, the Cardinals landed Troy Spratley, a nationally ranked move in from Wyoming Seminary. I currently have Troy as the favorite to win the 120 pound weight division. Collinsville’s biggest dilemma this year will be finding room for all of their young hammers. Clay Gates, Cole Brooks, and Drake Acklin are all good enough to win a title this year; however, at first glance, it looks as if there is only room for two of them in the lineup. I guess we will have to wait and see how this plays out. Skiatook has as just many hammers returning. They are led by 2x state champs Josh Taylor and Cougar Anderson. They also return sate placers Brody Gee-2nd, Cody Francis-2nd, Richie Lee-2nd, Hunter Hall-3rd, and Tony Johnson-4th.
Most years, having two kids ranked #1 and three more ranked #2 would be enough to be a title contender. This year, this isn’t the case. It does, however, land Piedmont firmly in the #3 spot. The Wildcats are led by returning state finalists Austin Cooley and Landis Scoon. Both are currently ranked #1 at their weights. They also have #2 at 126 Levi Buckridge, #2 at 145 Tabor McClure, #2 at 170 Bo Hardy, and # 5 at 160 Bryce DiGacento.
The race for the 4th spot in the team race should be highly contested, but as the dust settles, I expect Duncan to edge out Durant. Duncan is led by returning state placers Ayden Thompson-4th, Blayton Montgomery-4th, Tyson Walker-3rd, and Stephen Culberson-4th. Duncan recently finished 2nd behind Skiatook at Carl Albert’s Malcom Wade Invitational, and I could easily see them making a push for the 3rd spot; however, they will need good tournaments out of #5 at 106 Carson Villalon, #4 at 120 Jonathan McRae, #3 at 132 Connor Riddle, and #2 at 220 Dylan Gerhart. The other team that will more than likely be battling for that 4th spot will be Durant. Durant is led by brothers Cody and Cory Hicks. Cody is a returning state champ, and Corey, is currently #1 at 145 after placing 3rd last year. The Lions also return state placer Connor Hall-3rd.
There is a big cluster of teams that aren’t that far behind Duncan and Durant, and all could easily make a run at the 3rd or 4th spots. These teams include Lawton MacArthur, El Reno, Glenpool, Claremore and Guthrie. Out of this group, I could see Glenpool being the team that makes me look bad. They are a very solid team top to bottom with very few holes, and will be a very tough out for somebody at dual state.
Every year I waste time trying to predict the regional splits. No matter how confident I was about which teams were going where, and no matter how logical it seemed, I always seemed to be wrong. That being said, here is my attempt at the breakdown for the east and west regions. Again, this is merely a guess.
East– Skiatook, Collinsville, Durant, Glenpool, Claremore, Tulsa Edison, McAlester, Coweta, Pryor, Tahlequah, Bishop Kelley, Ada, Tulsa Hale, Will Rogers, East Central, and Noble
West– Piedmont, Duncan, MacArthur, El Reno, Guthrie, Del City, Altus, McGuinniss, Shawnee, Carl Albert, Lawton Eisenhower, Santa Fe South, Western Heights, Ardmore, Woodward, and Southeast

Now on to dual state! Last week we were fortunate enough to see a preview of what will more than likely be the dual state finals. Skiatook traveled to Collinsville for their much anticipated annual dual, and it did not disappoint! The dual came down to the final match. Collinsville’s Zack Morris pulled out the victory over Nathan Easkey to give Collinsville the 35-26 victory. In my opinion, the most important match of the dual was the very first match at 106. Clay Gates pulled off a minor upset over Brody Gee to get the momentum rolling for the Cardinals. I’ll be curious to see how this match plays out if they meet at dual state . Also of note, Skiatook was without 2x state champ Josh Taylor for the dual, and Collinsville was without 3x state champ Caleb Tanner. Both are expected to be back before dual state. At this point, we already know the eight teams that have qualified for dual state; however, we don’t know what seed everyone will end up at. Here is the link that gives the breakdown on criteria: http://www.ossaa.net/docs/2019-20/Wrestling/WR_2019-20_DualStateInformation.pdf
Here are the qualified teams, and the current seed that they are in:
1. Collinsville
2. Skiatook
3. Duncan
4. Piedmont
5. Glenpool
6. Pryor
7. El Reno
8. Altus
It is always fun to watch how the voting changes late in the season. Coaches start jockeying and politicking in order to get their team in a better matchup in the first round, or more importantly in the semifinals. Some coaches have even been known to lose a dual on purpose.  These rankings are released every Monday on the OSSAA site: http://www.ossaarankings.com/Default.aspx?sel=rankings&spGK=Wrestling&sp=Wrestling&g=Boys&y=20
Rankings are based on results through 1/25. The next 5A rankings will come out on Tuesday, February 18th.



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