In a normal year, all of the wrestlers would be “fat and happy” by the 2nd week in March. Of course, this isn’t a normal year, so we get the great opportunity to watch the teams compete in the Dual State Tournament this weekend at the Stride Bank Center in Enid. The Dual State Tournaments, which will follow the same schedule as the Individual State Tournaments (Classes 4A and 5A on Friday with Classes 3A and 6A on Saturday) promises to be just as thrilling as the Individual State Tournaments with several teams looking to bring home the championship trophy.
The format being used will see all of the Class 5A action completed on Friday before clearing the arena for the Class 4A tournament. The same format will be used on Saturday with Class 6A going first, followed by Class 3A. The times are for each tournament is listed below.
Class 5A (Friday) and Class 6A (Saturday)
9:30 – Quarterfinals
11:00 – Semifinals
1:00 – Finals
Class 4A (Friday) and Class 3A (Saturday)
4:00 – Quarterfinals
5:30 – Semifinals
7:30 – Finals
With the Dual State Tournament taking place two weeks after the traditional end to the season, the unknown factor is how the lineups will be affected by injuries, illness, COVID, spring sports, weight changes and a variety of other factors.
In Class 6A, Edmond North, Bixby, Broken Arrow and Mustang appear to be the top contenders and it is anyone’s guess on who will come out on top. Undefeated Edmond North picked up a huge 33-29 regular season win over Mustang to finish the season 13-0 and earn the number one seed. Anchored by state champions junior Jaxon Randall and senior Braden Bowman, the Huskies feature a hard-to-believe nine freshmen that qualified for State with six of them earning state medals. This is the 13th straight year the Huskies have qualified for Dual State, including winning the title in 2013.
About the only thing for certain in Class 6A is that state champion Stillwater will not win the Dual State title. Bixby shocked many (but, of course, not the Spartans themselves) with a thrilling 33-32 criteria win over the Pioneers to win the District title and qualify for Dual State. Bixby was a regular participant in Dual State when they were in Class 5A, but this will be their first appearance in Class 6A and their first appearance since 2010. Led by undefeated state champions freshman Clay Giddens-Buttram (26-0 record), junior Zac Blankenship (25-0) and sophomore Jersey Robb (24-0), Bixby is also a young team with only one senior out of their ten state qualifiers. The Spartans finished the season 9-0 to earn the number two seed and will open the tournament against Ponca City.
Broken Arrow has won the last two Class 6A Dual State titles and will enter as the number 3 seed. The Tigers finished the season with a 10-1 record, won three regular season tournaments and the Regional Tournament. They dropped their season-opener to Stillwater, but own wins over Liberty, MO (number one team in Missouri) and a 37-26 win over Mustang. This is Broken Arrow’s 29th appearance in the 33-year history of the Dual State Tournament and they have won nine Dual State titles (the 29 appearances and nine titles are the most in Class 6A).
When at full strength, Mustang fields an extremely talented line-up which includes Tate Picklo (#1 in the nation at 195), 2X state champ and 4X finalist Tucker Owens, 2X champ and 3X finalist John Wiley, state champions Jack Kitchingham and Christian Rowland and four other state placers. Mustang finished 18-2 this season and won three regular season tournaments including the Mustang Dual Tournament (41-25 win over Tuttle in the finals) and the Owasso Dual Tournament (40-23 win over Kansas State Champion Goddard in the finals).
Class 6A Quarterfinals
Edmond North vs. Union
Mustang vs. Choctaw
Broken Arrow vs. Yukon
Bixby vs. Ponca City
Several teams look to bring home the Class 3A championship trophy, but Marlow earned the number one seed after an impressive season that included their narrow win at the State Tournament. Carson Moore sealed the championship for the Outlaws with his win in the 220 lb. finals. Marlow also has five other state placers on a strong team that went 10-0 in duals while winning two regular season tournaments in addition to their Regional and State championships. Marlow has finished as Dual State runner-up the past three years and has won three Dual State titles in 20 appearances with their last title coming in 2008.
Jay will be looking for revenge at Dual State as their dramatic comeback fell just short at Individual State. Senior Johnny Williamson along with freshmen Gage Walker and Devin Duran won state titles and the Bulldogs added two other state placers but fell 5.5 points short of catching Marlow. Jay won the East Regional title in a tight battle with 3rd seed Blackwell and also won a 39-29 dual win over Blackwell. Jay went 16-2 in duals with losses to Class 5A Coweta and Kansas state champion Goddard, but their wins include a 39-38 win over Bridge Creek, 42-39 win over Comanche, and 48-33 win over Class 5A state runner-up Claremore.
Blackwell went 18-5 in duals including a 45-24 win over Comanche, 63-12 win over Claremore and a 38-33 over Perry. Other than the loss to Jay, all of Blackwell’s losses were to Class 6A teams including a 46-34 loss to Bixby. Blackwell has made 24 Dual State appearances, including winning the 1991 Dual State title.
Bridge Creek finished 14-2 in duals and won the Jay Dual Tournament. Bridge Creek bounced back from their loss to Jay with a 50-30 win over Coweta to capture the title. The Bobcats other loss was to 6A Southmoore while they picked up wins over 5A Carl Albert, Shawnee and Piedmont and also own a 45-33 win over Sperry. Bridge Creek is led by 3X state champion and 4X finalist Kolby DePron and 2020 state champion and 3X state placer Kaden Smith. DePron who has signed to wrestle for Bucknell has a career record of 131-7 heading into Dual State.
While Bridge Creek will be making their second appearance at Dual State (last year was their first appearance), their first- round opponent Perry will be making their 32nd appearance in the 33-year old tournament. Perry’s 2018 team established the record for most points scored at Dual State when they won by scores of 75-0, 76-6 and 72-6 for a total of 223 points scored in the tournament. Perry has won a state record 20 Dual State titles, winning 19 titles in a 21-year period, including winning 11 straight from 2009-2019.
Class 3A Quarterfinals
Marlow vs. Sperry
Bridge Creek vs. Perry
Blackwell vs. Comanche
Jay vs. Vinita
This writer has compiled a 33-page booklet of the Dual State records and all of the results since the first Dual State Tournament was held in 1989. If you would like a free copy of these records, please send an email to [email protected].