Sandite Highlight: Michael Ritchey

Sand Springs is no stranger to the national forum when it comes to wrestling. The sport is undeniably the Sandites' best subject in recent memory, and not only are we considered to be part of the "Top Three" in Oklahoma, but our wrestlers are making headlines nation-wide as part of Team Oklahoma. With the scholastic season on hold, many of our wrestlers are competing in Freestyle and Greco-Roman tournaments across the country as part of "Team BIG," a wrestling club started by Sandite assistant coach Derek Fix. Here's what our boys have been up to since placing third in state last school year.

Michael Ritchey

Ritchey took 2nd place of 3 in Junior Freestyle division 126 at the Sand Springs Freestyle/Greco Tournament back in April, beating Cody Wynn of Wildcat Wrestling by a 10-0 Tech fall, before losing to fellow teammate and state placer Cody Randall in an 11-0 tech fall.

A week later he placed 3rd of 5 in Junior Freestyle division 126 at the Owasso Freestyle and Greco Tournament. He lost to state-placer Mason Naifeh of Team NEO in a 10-0 Tech, then pinned Jeremy Hanger of McAlester Wrestling in 4:10, and handed a 12-2 tech to Hunter Smith of Owasso Threestyle,

At the USAOK Broken Arrow Freestyle/Greco Regional he placed 2nd of 4 in Junior FS 120, defeating Cordney Chairs of Team NEO in a narrow 9-8 decision, before losing again to Mason Naifeh, this time by only 19-18.

At the OK USA FS/GR State Tournament at Cushing, he took 4th place of 7 in Junior Freestyle 120. First he defeated state-placer Paxten Rosen of Owasso in a 14-11 decision before falling to 4A state-runner-up Noah McQuigg from Tiger Wrestling Club in a 12-2 tech fall. Rebounding with a 13-2 tech over Javier Willets of Chickasha, he again had to confront Paxton Rosen, this time getting teched 10-0 and finishing with a 2-2 record.

At the 2015 USAW Junior Men's Freestyle Nationals, Ritchey competed in the 120 weight class, but failed to place. He lost his first match in a 10-0 tech fall to two-time state-placer Aslan Kilic of Georgia. He defeated Jordan Baker of Hawaii 10-0 and accepted a forfeit-due-to-injury from Iowan Jack Wagner, but was eliminated from contention by Georgia State-Champion Todd Small in a 12-5 decision.

For 2015, Ritchey has a non-scholastic record of 17-10.

Not mentioned in this article are his 2nd place of 28 run at the USJOC/US JR Open Championships in January, and his 3rd place of 19 title at the OKWA 37th State Championships in February.