, Muskogee, OK

August 1, 2013

ALL-STATE GAMES: Two area wrestlers win

By Ronn Rowland
Phoenix Sports Writer

— BIXBY – Three area wrestlers wanted to end their high school careers with wins and two were successful at the 2013 Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State games at Whitey Ford Arena in Bixby on Wednesday.

Muskogee graduate J.T. Andrews, wrestling for the Large School East squad at 170 pounds, was successful in his appearance pinning Chad Draper of Deer Creek at 1:14 of the second period. Vian ex Cale Mays, a member of the Small School East team at 190, took little longer, waiting until 13.7 seconds remaining in the second stanza to pin Jake Welt of Harrah.

Andrews and Draper were feeling each other out for most of the first period until Andrews used a double-leg takedown with 22 seconds left to gain a 2-0 advantage. After Draper got one point for an escape to close out the period, Andrews scored another two-pointer with 1:22 left in the second on a reversal to the back before putting Draper away eight seconds later.

“I wanted to end it in the first period,” Andrews said. “I took fourth in state and wanted to end my senior year with a win.”

Mays’ match with Welt was almost a carbon copy of Andrews’. Mays scored a two-point takedown late in the first period and kept pushing Welt around until rolling him onto his back for the win.

“He attacked me pretty good,” Mays said. “I like that when people attack me. It gives me more opportunities to figure out what I need to do to score points.”

The only down note for the area was Muskogee ex Nigel Harris, who had three points opportunities in the final 15 seconds but was held at bay by John Finn of Westmoore 3-2 at 220 pounds. Harris was well aware of his opponent and the problems he presented.

“He was really strong and had great defense,” Harris said. “That’s one thing I’ve known about him is he’s very good at defending shots. I was just trying to move quick and get him tired to see if I could get a takedown.”

On hand as spectators were former Muskogee coach Bobby Jefferson and his son, associate coach Dan Jefferson. Dan was very proud of his two seniors.

“They’re great competitors,” he said. “They’re tough kids and work hard. They wrestled two really tough kids.”

The Large School East was on the short end of their team total with the Large School West, falling 35-15. The Small School East had a strong performance from top to bottom, racing out to a 33-0 advantage on its way to a 42-10 win.

Harris was not only wrestling for himself but for everyone who is associated with Roughers wrestling.

“It means everything to me being coached by Bobby J and Dan and everything,” Harris said. “I wanted to leave it all out here so Muskogee kids will look up to me and want to be all-staters also.”