Sand Springs Sandite Wrestling wins 6A State Championship with 5 Champions

Top-Five Team Scores:

  1. Sand Springs (129.5)
  2. Broken Arrow (124)
  3. Choctaw (110.5)
  4. Edmond North (64)
  5. Stillwater (47)

2017 6A State Champions

106: Riley Weir (Sand Springs sophomore)
113: Canon Randall (Westmoore senior)
120: Paxton Rosen (Edmond North senior)
126: Tanner Cole (Deer Creek senior)
132: Daton Fix (Sand Springs senior)
138: Jack Karstetter (Sand Springs senior)
145: Beau Bratcher (Sand Springs senior) 
152: Payton Scott (Sand Springs junior) 
160: Jaryn Curry (Choctaw junior)
170: Zane Coleman (Choctaw sophomore)
182: Gavin Potter (Broken Arrow sophomore)
195: Zach Marcheselli (Broken Arrow sophomore)
220: Skyler Haynes (Broken Arrow senior)
285: Trenton Lieurance (Broken Arrow senior)

6A Outstanding Wrestler: Daton Fix (Sand Springs)

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

For the first time since 1971, the Charles Page High School Wrestling team will bring home a team trophy from the OSSAA State Tournament. With five State Champions and seven placers, the Sandites came out on top of a three-way race with No. 2 Choctaw and No. 3 Broken Arrow to clench their second State Championship this month after winning the Dual State title in Shawnee two weeks prior. 

This is the first time in town history that the Sandites have won two team State Championships in a single year. Oklahoma State University-signed senior Daton Fix officially ended his high school career as the first-ever four-time State Champion in Sand Springs history, and he did it without giving up a single loss. This was the first time since 2002 that anyone in Oklahoma went four years undefeated with four titles. This was also the first time another Sandite would bring home the gold with him.

Before this season, the Sandites had crowned 25 State Champions with 36 gold medals total. But no two Sandites have won State in the same year since 1978 when Craig Sanders, Kevin Newport, and Billy Boyd took the podium. Hall Williams, Wayne Sutterfield, and current Assistant Coach Ronnie Luce did so in 1974, and Frank Peck, Rick Warren, and Eddie Sullivan did so in 1971. The Sandites have never had more than three Champions in a single year, but they did place seven finalists in the 71' Championship season.

History was made Saturday evening as five of the six Sandite finalists won their brackets. Fix was joined atop the podium by sophomore Riley Weir, junior Payton Scott, and seniors Jack Karstetter and Beau Bratcher.

Weir (41-6 season, 62-18 career) took on Edmond Memorial freshman Garrett Steidley (30-4) in the 106-pound finals and won the first State Title of the evening. Weir was visibly dissatisfied with his first shot as the two ended up in a tangled mess vying for control. The wrestlers returned to their feet and Steidley took Weir off the mat with an inside trip, but didn't score. Returning to center the Sandite got the angle he was looking for and took the Bulldog down for back points. They started the second period neutral with Weir leading 4-0, and this time it was Steidley with the takedown. They returned to neutral for the third period and stayed there for the duration. The trailing Bulldog was the aggressor, firing off multiple close shots. But every time they hit the mat, Weir found his defense and staved off the takedown, ultimately holding on for the 4-2 decision.

Fix (47-0, 165-0) easily handled Edmond North senior Brandon Bright (36-5) in the 132-pound finals. It was a strange match for Fix. Bright did the unthinkable and actually scored a takedown. He was the first opponent to score against Fix this season. It wouldn't happen again, however. The Sandite took a 7-4 lead into the second period and made it 17-9 by the third, though Bright did put up some solid shots. Fate had its way and the Sandite was within a takedown of a technical fall before snagging the pin at 4:52.

Karstetter (32-1, 105-16) met Stillwater senior Tyler Dieringer (26-5) in the 138-pound finals. The two remained neutral throughout an aggressive first period, with Dieringer fending off several close calls. Karstetter started the second period on bottom and took the lead with an escape, but Dieringer tied it up early in the third. With twenty seconds left, the Sandite scored the winning takedown.

Bratcher (45-7, 136-30) battled former two-time Louisiana State Champion and Stillwater senior Kendon Lee (35-3) in the 145-pound finals. Bratcher and Lee were evenly matched throughout, remaining neutral through the first period. The Sandite scored an escape midway through the second period and added a takedown at the minute mark. He cut Lee loose midway through but was unable to score again. Bratcher started the final stretch on top and was nearly reversed on but managed to hold tough till a "potentially dangerous" call returned him to a more comfortable position. Lee continued to show his explosiveness on the scramble, but Bratcher had a vice grip and held off a reversal attempt as time expired for the 3-1 victory.

Scott (40-3, 61-11) squared off with Enid senior Austin Loza (36-9) in the 152-pound finals. Loza selected the down position after a neutral first period and quickly escaped for the lead, but Scott found a buzzer-beating takedown for the advantage. He started the third period on bottom, immediately broke loose, and stayed on his feet for a 3-1 decision.  . 

Jordan (44-2, 75-14), a Pittsburg State University football-signed senior, took on defending State Champion and Broken Arrow senior Skyler Haynes (12-2) in the 220-pound finals. Jordan wasted no time with his first shot and had the defending State Champ on the ropes before Haynes worked his way out of danger and ended up scoring on the Sandite. He cut Jordan loose soon after and the Sandite was just a second short of a takedown. Instead he entered the second period trailing 2-1 and Haynes elected the defensive position. Jordan cut him loose almost immediately but was unable to find points. He chose to start the third period on bottom and was in danger of a cradle for a while before finding the escape. He was unable to score, however, and Haynes prevailed for his second State title. Jordan may have lost this match, but he bested the Tiger two other times this season and still finished his career as a three-time State Qualifier and State Runner-Up.

Eleven Sandites qualified for the State Tournament. Michael Ritchey (36-12, 65-36), Blake Sargent (37-11, 89-25), Noah Almy (24-20), and Zane Basma (26-5, 88-30) were eliminated without placing. 

Senior Tanner Ward (34-12, 110-24) finished his career as a four-time State-placer, taking fourth place in the 113-pound bracket. He met Mustang sophomore Cameron Picklo in a rematch of the first-round and looked to be in good shape, leading 3-1 in the final minute of the match. Picklo scored a takedown with twenty seconds left, however, and rolled the Sandite onto his shoulder for a pair of nearfall points and a 5-3 decision. 

Sand Springs will be in a bit of a rebuilding year next season after graduating seven of their eleven State Qualifiers, but the Sandite bench is loaded with talented underclassmen waiting their turn. Simply returning two State Champions will be huge, but the Sandites will also have incoming Junior High State Champion Carter Young, Runner-Up Brett Black, and placers Kaden Glass, CJ Kirby, and Seth Jones. 

The future is as bright as ever in Sand Springs, Oklahoma.