Owasso wrestling

Owasso’s Zeke Washington recently signed a letter of intent to wrestle at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. Washington is joined in the photo by his parents, Joe and Sandy. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Zeke Washington believes the time spent as part of the Owasso wrestling program has changed his life.

Washington, who will become an OHS graduate this week, recently signed a letter of intent to continue his wrestling career at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. Washington will join the Moccasins, which is a Division I program and part of the Southern Conference.

His two-year Ram career concluded with a combined record of 71-8 record and a pair of state runner-up finishes, which drew the attention of several college programs.

It’s a far cry from what Washington anticipated when he transferred from Tulsa Edison two years ago.

“I didn’t see my dreams in front of me anymore,” said Washington, who was a state qualifier during his time at Edison. “I wouldn’t have expected this.”

Washington, who reports to campus on June 15, credits his success in wrestling with helping him stay motivated in school and continuing his education.

“For a lot of student athletes, that’s their incentive,” said Owasso coach Mike Ryan. “They want to participate in these activities. They know they have to maintain their grades to a certain level. That’s one thing that can motivate a student. Teenagers have so many things that can occupy their time. “

Zeke’s father, Joe, said his son’s attitude and work ethic have been the pillars for what he has achieved in joining a Division I program.

“I’m not ever going to bet against him because he just works too hard,” Joe said. “I told him ‘it’s your dream. Go chase it.’”

Ryan said Zeke has developed on the mat in his two years at Owasso but still has room for growth, which should benefit him at the next level.”

“I think he is just scratching the surface of his potential,” said the Ram coach “I’ve told college coaches he’s not where he could be with somebody working with him all the time…He was a talent. I just knew wrestling was a very big part of what Zeke did. He had the right mindset. He was always soaking it up like a sponge.”