BROKEN ARROW — Top-ranked and host Broken Arrow did something this weekend even the Tigers had never accomplished before in the regional wrestling tournament.
When Tye Rozell and Torrance Ingram came away with victories in their respective fifth-place matches Saturday evening, the Tigers officially qualified all 14 members of their lineup for next weekend’s Class 6A state tournament. It marks the largest contingency of wrestlers Broken Arrow has ever taken to the State Fairgrounds Arena in Oklahoma City.
Broken Arrow topped its own record of 13, which happened last year when the Tigers went on to win the program’s 10th state championship.
“That’s what our expectations were coming into this,” first-year coach Rodney Jones said. “To talk about it, kind of set up on a mantel as a goal and to do it is satisfying.”
With 11 wrestlers in the finals, Broken Arrow rolled to the regional championship at Tiger Field House with 294.5 points. Jenks finished second with 188.5, followed by Stillwater with 176.
Broken Arrow had three individual champions — Parker Whitcraft at 113 pounds, Bryce Mattioda at 170 and Emmanuel Skillings at 195. All three Tigers pinned their finals opponents.
Mattioda will make his fourth state appearance. The senior has one last opportunity to win a state championship after finishing as runner-up each of the past two seasons.
“After getting second the past two years, I want it more than anything,” Mattioda said.
Jenks qualified nine wrestlers for state under coach Ray Weis, who is stepping down at the conclusion of this season following two decades at the helm. The Trojans crowned three regional champions, Thatcher Hall at 145 pounds, Drake Vannoy at 160 and Haden Crawley at 220.
Vannoy is a two-time state champion, but his 10-4 victory over Chance Davis of Enid in the finals gave the senior his first regional title.
“Regionals is just about making it (to state),” said Vannoy, who had finished third at regionals two years ago and second last season. “But now there’s a lot less pressure. It’s nice having a little better draw.”
The fairgrounds have been particularly kind to Vannoy, who has won five state titles at the venue dating back to his junior high days.
“I love it,” he said. “It’s a great atmosphere.”
Stillwater qualified seven wrestlers, including four regional champions. Sand Springs will take six to state and Union will bring five.
Sand Springs’ Mitchell Smith, son of former Sandites coach Kelly Smith, and Josh Fincannon punched their state tickets on the first day of the tournament as they advanced to the finals at 113 and 220, respectively.
Union had three wrestlers in the regional finals, with two-time state placer Micah Walker coming away with the crown at 285.
The two-day state tournament will begin Friday morning in Oklahoma City.