Wrestlers close season at state

Gareth Ballard One

By Kyle Salomon,

Five Mustang grapplers closed out their 2013-2014 season at the state championships last weekend at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds.

Three seniors and two freshmen represented the Broncos wrestling program.

Senior 132-pounder Gareth Ballard, senior 182-pounder David McCright, senior 220-pounder Clay Feland, freshman 120-pounder Trey Edwards and freshman 126-pounder Gage McBride competed in the double-elimination tournament.

Mustang wrestlers did not fare well in the two-day event as the grapplers had a combined record of 1-10 on the weekend.

“The story for this season is that we qualified five wrestlers for state,” Mustang head coach Dave Rankin said. “The previous two years we only qualified one wrestler for state, but these kids really worked hard and have Mustang wrestling back in the right direction.”

Edwards wrestled first for the Broncos in the 120-pound weight class. The Mustang freshman took on John Jiminez from Sand Springs in the first round. Edwards fell to Jiminez 5-1.

Edwards then went up against Edmond North 120-pounder Cy Trindle. Trindle defeated Edwards 12-4 to eliminate the Bronco wrestler from the tournament.

Edwards’ final record this season was 14-9.

McBride competed in the 126-pound weight class for MHS. The freshman dropped his first-round bout to Davion Jeffries of Broken Arrow in a second-period fall.

McBride was eliminated from the state tournament in his next match at the hands of Connor Dooling of Southmoore 9-7.

McBride’s final record this season was 13-18.

Ballard wrestled in the 132-pound weight division for the Broncos. He defeated Beau Brather of Sand Springs in the first round by a score of 5-4.

In his second-round bout, Ballard took on Stillwater’s Kaid Brock. Ballard fell to Brock in a first-period fall.

The Mustang senior was eliminated from the tournament in his next match when he fell to Colby Moates of Moore 3-1.

Ballard’s final record in his senior campaign was 19-6.

McCright competed in the 182-pound weight class for Mustang. The senior took on Wyatt Ellis from Tulsa Union in his first bout and lost in a first-period fall.

McCright was eliminated from the tournament in his next bout against Landon Henderickson from Owasso. McCright fell 5-4 in the match.

McCright’s final record in his senior season was 26-15.

Feland wrestled in the 220-pound weight division for MHS. Feland took on Kyler Childers from Sand Springs in his first bout and fell 3-2.

Feland was eliminated in his next match by Logan Parks of Yukon 5-2.

Feland’s final season record was 21-13.

“This senior class is special,” Rankin said. “To think about how far they have come in the past three years is really incredible. They have all turned into outstanding, strong and impressive young men. It was an honor to coach them and watch them grow through these years.”

Looking ahead to next year

Mustang wrestling will look different next year as the Broncos are graduating nine out of their 14 varsity wrestlers from this year’s squad that placed fourth in the regional and 24th overall in the state.

The nine seniors the Bronco wrestling program will lose are Gareth Ballard at 132, Jordan Kalmeyer at 138, Robert King at 145, Zac Julian at 152, Redmon Wilkerson at 160, David McCright at 182, Mark Casteneda at 195, Clay Feland at 220 and Dylan Needham at 285.

The five varsity grapplers returning to action for Mustang will be Jason Clark at 106, Corbin Hardin at 113, Trey Edwards at 120, Gage McBride at 126 and Zach Butler at 170.

“The freshman class from this season has a chance to be a really special group,” Rankin said. “We have a lot of young wrestlers in the program right now that have a chance to do some great things. We have 50 kids in the room right now that want to compete at a high level, and that’s what it takes to be great.”