Deven Woodworth was at a loss for words to describe how it felt to be a regional champion.
“Different, I guess,” Woodworth said.
The Fort Gibson junior scored a major decision victory, 11-2, over Wesley Downing of Grove to give the Tigers a Class 4A East Regional champion at 152 pounds Saturday at Bristow.
It was much different than last year, when he was fifth at regionals and lost his first match in a wrestle-in state at 138. Moving to 32-7 on the year, he got four points on a takedown and near fall in the first period and two near falls in the third period, a total of nine of his 11 points.
“We controlled the match all but the second period,” said Fort Gibson coach Sammy Johnson. “He’s only been wrestling three years so it’s a big step for him.”
Woodworth, seeded second, won a semifinal match over David Mendoza when the latter dislocated his elbow 34 seconds into the match. Blake Salt, the top seed, was upset by Downing (25-9) on a 5-4 decision, setting up the finale.
“Just going in with the mentality to win,” Woodworth said when asked about the keys to his performance. “I’ve had good partners, good coaching, and good like, crowd (this week). Good supporters.”
Johnson talked about Woodworth’s ability in scramble situations.
“When he’s in those he’s more athletic than a lot of kids he matches up against, so he comes out on the better end,” Johnson said. “Plus he’s long and lanky which makes him a good leg rider, so that and a little more maturity and a lot more confidence this year.”
Wagoner laid claim to three titles.
Braden Drake will head to state at 132 trying to duplicate the title he won last year at 120. Drake won a 3-1 decision against Hayden Lemons of Cushing to go to 28-1 on the year, getting a takedown with :04 left. Lemmons, who lost to Drake in dual state last week in the same fashion with a late takedown, fell to 30-9.
“He just turned it loose there with a shot there and when he’s on his feet, no one can stop him,” said Bulldogs coach Micco Charboneau.
Kaden Charboneau, the coach’s son, won at 160 pounds, taking out Brendan Hernandez of Grove in a 7-4 decision. Charboneau moved to 27-3, Hernandez is 29-7.
“He got up 5-0 and kind of shut it down a little bit but he had a good tournament,” the coach said.
Jayden Marshall at 285 won a sudden victory, 4-2 against Austin Cliff of Bristow. Marshall is 20-5 on the year. Cliff 22-8. A penalty near the end of the third period forced overtime and drew an argument from the coach, but hesitated.
Marshall got a takedown with a double leg 30 seconds into overtime to win it.
Fort Gibson’s Cole Mahaney (26-7) lost a 11-0 decision in the finals at 138 against Dylan Brown (29-1) of Cleveland.
“That kid beat us earlier 4-2 and I don’t think we wrestled our match there,” he said. “But I’ve never had a freshman finalist so that was a big deal, and he had a good tournament.”
Ti Lockwood (25-7) of Wagoner was third at 138, winning 2-1 over Gavin Blank of Cushing.
Melchesidech Porter will be Hilldale’s first-ever state participant. Porter (19-4) beat Bryce Jackson of Oologah in a pin in the third period (5:06) at 195.
Wagoner qualified the biggest haul for Oklahoma City. Braven Bowman (23-7) was fourth at 113, Logan Sterling (13-13) was fourth at 145, and Gage Eaton (19-7) at 120, Roman Garcia (2-2) at 182, Chochee Watson (20-13) at 195, Logan Cole (29-7) at 220. Fort Gibson’s Grant Edwards (31-9) was fourth at 126 Zane Potter (22-11) lost for fifth place at 285 and will be an alternate there next week.
Vian’s Cruz Partain (33-2) won a 5-2 decision against Bryce Drummond (25-8) of Pawhuska to win a regional title at 195 pounds. Vian’s Dil’n Murchison (23-10) of Vian was third at 183.
Checotah’s Luke Collett dropped a 4-2 decision at 120 against Gabe Valencia of Perry. Collett was the defending region champion at that weight.
Also for Checotah, Sam Anderson (12-10) was fourth at 106. Cord Montgomery (14-10) was third at 170. Montgomery beat Sequoyah’s Tyler Fixin in a pin 2:39 into the match but both will head to state.
Brody Cannon (15-10) gave Warner its first state qualifier, finishing fourth at 220.
Sequoyah’s Landen Girty was sixth at 145, as was Checotah’s Landen Degman (15-6) at 126 and Kyler Pouncil (16-8) at 220. Those will be alternates at state.
At Broken Arrow, Muskogee was shut out of state, with the lone wrestler to make it to Saturday, Keenan Adams, going out in consolation play early Saturday.