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UCO: Homegrown talent is the key

A 16-year drought ended for Central Oklahoma’s storied wrestling program March 10-11 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa when the Bronchos captured their 16th national championship, but the path to that success continued a trend which has existed throughout the program’s 70-year history.

Homegrown talent is the key.

UCO has always cultivated and relied on wrestlers that came through Oklahoma high schools, which annually produce some of the best the country has to offer. That was evident once again this season, when eight of the Bronchos’ nine All-Americans were in-state products.

“Oklahoma kids are the lifeblood of our program, no doubt about it,” head coach Todd Steidley said. “We’re a small state, but there a lot of quality high school kids here because we have so many quality coaches. And a ton of those coaches wrestled here.

“Our Oklahoma kids do a great job for us, not only as wrestlers but as part of our wrestling community. Most of these kids grew up wrestling together or against each other and once they come here they already know each other, so that familiarity is great. We’re very fortunate in that regard.”

Heavyweight national champion Shawn Streck (Indiana) was the lone non-Oklahoman to earn All-America honors for the Bronchos….

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