In the midst of a pandemic and a lot of uncertainty in our sport and high school athletics as whole, there is one thing for certain: Oklahoma wrestling has some hammers gracing numerous programs across the state. From top to bottom, 106 pounds to heavyweight, freshmen to seniors, Oklahoma has some of the best wrestlers in the country. Our focus on the development of talent at a young age is showing its benefits for these high school student-athletes. With a load of Division I commitments and more to come — as well as other signees at the Division II, NAIA and junior college level — Owrestle’s top 50 Pound-For-Pound rankings highlight the best of the best in Oklahoma.
In regards to the formula for the rankings, we followed a wide variety of factors in order to compile this list. We followed multiple national rankings from many different media platforms and through those found that Oklahoma had 14 wrestlers ranked in the top 20 at their respective weight. These are the highest ranked wrestlers on the list for our state for the most part, in conjunction with head-to-head results. Also factored in were national tournament placings. Tournaments such as Preseason Nationals, FloNationals, Cadet/Junior Nationals (aka Fargo), UWW Nationals, World Team Trials results and more also carried weight into these rankings. Last but not least was the athlete’s state tournament finishes, including Junior High State, and their head-to-head wins over ranked opponents throughout the year.
At Owrestle we understand that freshmen, of course, will have less opportunity to be on the list, or be high on the list unless they have incredible junior high accolades plus national tournament placings. But we promise that we are paying close attention to the mighty freshman of our state and they continue to climb our ranks as well as make their debut in the top 50 P4P rankings.
Now for let’s talk about our top 50!
Our No. 1 P4P ranking goes to Mustang’s Tate Picklo. The OU commit has done it all. Cadet Fargo champ, two-time finalist and four-time All-American and a World Team Member in Greco for UWW Cadets. He is a two-time high school champion going for his third title and in October was invited to Flowrestling “Who’s Number 1” dual, where he ousted Seth Shumate of Ohio. That made Picklo the top 195-pound wrestler in the country (and currently Oklahoma’s only number one ranked high school wrestler).
Our No. 2 ranking goes to Collinsville’s Jordan Williams. Another wrestler who has done it all on the national scene, the junior is a two-time Cadet Fargo champion, a past Super 32 Champ, Preseason Nationals champ and two-time high school state champion. Jordan is currently ranked second nationally at 145 pounds and his college commitment is undecided.
No. 3 on the P4P list is Anthony Ferrari of Stillwater High School. Ferrari was a Super 32 Runner-up in 2020 and a World Team Trials finalist in his career. The junior OSU commit also owns a win over our No. 4 ranked wrestler, John Wiley, this season. Wiley is an OU commit and is another junior on pace for four high school titles, having already snagged titles in 2019 and 2020 for Mustang High School. In 2019 Wiley was also a double Cadet Fargo Champ at 138 pounds. Rounding out our Top five is No. 5 Carter Young of Stillwater High School. He is a two-time high school champion, a Fargo Cadet champ and runner-up as well as a Junior All-American in 2019. The senior Northwestern commit was also a UWW Junior All-American in 2019.
Some other notables in our top 50 is our top-ranked freshman, No. 16 Angelo Ferrari of Stillwater High School. The Super 32 placer has wins over two highly ranked wrestlers on our Top 50 (No. 22 AJ Heeg and No. 24 Bam West). Our top-rated sophomore is Stillwater’s No. 8 Cael Hughes. Hughes is a Cadet Fargo champ and runner-up and won an Oklahoma high school state championship in 2020 for the Pioneers. Other notable freshman and sophomore wrestlers include a pair of freshmen from Bixby — No. 27 Jace Roller and No. 29 Clayton Giddons-Buttram. Sophomore standouts making waves are No. 22 AJ Heeg of Edmond Memorial and No. 28 Cole Brooks of Collinsville.
The Big Guys
Of course we cannot forget the love for our big boys. The 220-pound weight class has three wrestlers ranked, two of which are in the top 10 with Harley Andrews of Tuttle and Emmanual Skillings of Broken Arrow. No. 6 P4P Andrews is a Cadet Fargo All-American and a two-time high school state champ as a junior, while No. 7 P4P Skillings was an Ironman placer in 2019 and is looking for his third Oklahoma high school state title this season as a senior. Skillings is uncommitted at this time, while Andrews has committed to Nebraska. The third 220 pounder is senior Jack Kitchingham of Mustang. A 2020 state runner-up at 220, No. 43 P4P Kitchingham owns wins over multiple highly-ranked opponents across the state. Our top 50 P4P rankings find two heavyweights on the list in Blanchard’s Ryder Weise at No. 35, and Mustang’s Christian Rowland at No. 50. Rowland is ranked No. 1 in Class 6A and is a returning third-place state finisher, while Weise is a 2020 high school state champ and a 2019 Junior Fargo All-American.
Wrestlers on the move
Some of our wrestlers on the list have made moves up the list and we’re sure they will continue to climb. Moore’s Zeke Escalera has climbed the list all the way to No. 15 with some key wins over ranked opponents, including one over No. 27 Jace Roller. Escalera is a former Cadet Fargo champ and a Prep National champ. A move-in from out of state, Escalera has definitely turned some heads since his arrival in Oklahoma. Another wrestler making moves with some key wins is Mustang’s Keegan Luton. January saw Luton post wins over No. 18 Bryce Dauphin and No. 20 Cade Manion, moving him up our list all the way to No. 23.