MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

May 18, 2012

Wrestling event at mall tonight

— For at least one night, Arrowhead Mall won’t be just for shopping.

The second IOD (Ice Fight or Die) Freestyle Outdoor Tournament will be held  in the west parking lot at Dillard’s on 501 North Main Street, starting at 6:30 tonight.

Five age groups, ranging from 8-under (novice) to 16-18 (junior) will be competing in the freestyle and greco-roman (Olympic) style tourney. The other age groups include intermediate (10-under), schoolboy (12-under) and cadet (13-15).

“We’re trying to draw attention that wrestling is more than a local thing,” Dan Jefferson, Muskogee High School’s associate coach, said. “We’re trying to gain notoriety for doing things outside the box. It seems like this was the best place for it and the mall gave us clearance to have it there.

“Last year, we did it (at Indian Bowl). It was a big hit, but the mats got hot during the day and toward the end of the day. We decided to go in the evening this time. We’ll go until it’s completed.”

Jefferson said he expects wrestlers from Altus, Stillwater and perhaps as far away Tennessee and Kansas City to be competing in the event. The tournament brought in 170 wrestlers last year.

“We’re looking it to be a little bigger this year,” the MHS coach said.

Oklahoma State coach John Smith will be a guest at the tournament and put on a clinic, starting at 5 p.m.

Smith, an OSU graduate, is a two-time National Wrestling Coaches Coach of the Year, has coached 24 individual champions, 95 All-Americans and 74 conference champs. His 2012 Cowboys were ranked No. 1 in the nation for six weeks. OSU finished the season at 17-1.

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