Choctaw High School’s Yellowjacket wrestlers finished the season as the state’s undisputed champions Saturday when they rolled through elite competition to capture the nearly impossible Class 6A Trifecta.
Saturday’s championship performance secured Choctaw’s place in the record books as the wrestling program won virtually everything.
Claiming the Trifecta means the high school team did the nearly impossible task of winning all three state team titles.
But wait, there’s more.
Additionally, every Oklahoma junior high and middle school team title available was claimed by team Choctaw.
Choctaw won both divisions in the Allstate Junior High Tournament, and also claimed the most overall points in the tournament. Choctaw also secured the team title at Kids State in Division 5.
Choctaw made history as the first district to win every team title.
Saturday night Choctaw became the third team in history to accomplish the task of winning the Class 6A Wrestling State Championship, Dual State Wrestling Championship and Academic State Wrestling Championship.
Choctaw’s Jackets were the second and third teams to ever complete the 6A Trifecta Championship run as the 2016 CHS roster made history just two years ago.
To finish the season, Choctaw qualified 12 wrestlers for the state tournament. Eight of those qualifiers placed, seven were finalists and three were individual champions.
Going into the second day of the state tournament Choctaw was leading Class 6A with a score of 119, but rival Broken Arrow was hanging around with a score of 91.5 and there were several head-to-head matches slated between the wrestling powers.
Coleman’s pin of Broken Arrow’s Bryce Mattioda in just 1:17 gave Coleman his third straight title at 170 pounds, and also clinched the team title and 6A Trifecta for Choctaw.
“Zane got it done early, and that cinched the team deal for us so that was a big relief,” said head coach and father Benny Coleman. “That’s how you want them at the state tournament. Just get them over with.”
While relieved, the Yellowjakcets weren’t surprised as the 170-pound three-time state champ claimed 38 dominant wins this year. Coleman claimed three first period falls over the state’s best in this year’s tournament combining for just 3:46 of mat time.
Coleman’s third individual title came directly after teammate and University of Oklahoma signee Jaryn Curry won his third straight title at 160 pounds with a 5-3 win over Broken Arrow’s Caleb Wise.
“That was a big match between the two best kids in the state, and a couple of the best in the country,” said Coleman. “To win like that was big.”
After that Broken Arrow’s Gavin Potter was able to escape Easton Rendleman with a 1-0 decision at 195.
Rendleman claimed state runner-up.
“He stayed up a weight with Potter who beat us last year, and we beat him two weeks ago,” said Coleman. “He just couldn’t get the takedown tonight, and he ended up beating us. That was a tough loss.”
Then in a hard-fought 285-pound final Putnam City’s Christian Arriola got away from senior Caulin Poole, 3-2. Poole secured the second place finish to conclude the tournament..
Earlier Saturday, Mustang’s Joseph Lupton got a 6-3 decision over Choctaw senior Andy Schlaepfer at 120 pounds.
That put Schlaepfer in fourth place.
Then in the 126-pound final Choctaw’s Colt Newton got caught late after controlling the bout with Broken Arrow’s Reece Witcraft. Newton, a junior, gave up the fall to take his third straight silver at state.
“To see Colt get caught like that really hurt me,” said Coleman. “He just got caught on his back, and it didn’t go his way. It hasn’t gone his way three times now. He works every day, and does everything right. Sometimes it just feels like things aren’t fair in this sport, but I promise you he’ll be back in there training. He has one more chance to come back and get it done.”
In the 132-pound final against Ponca City’s Dylan Schickram, Choctaw’s Gabe Johnson came up on the wrong side of a 7-3 decision to take runner-up.
Senior Connor Holman claimed a state title with a 138-pound win over Edmond Memorial’s Peter Rolle.
“Connor has been in the finals twice, and he finally won so that was fun to watch,” explained Coleman.
106-pound Caleb Williams secured a fall over Bartlesville’s David Boucher. However, he suffered a fall and a 3-1 decision to end his run for gold.
“Caleb is just a freshman, and he was winning his first match. Then he got caught with a defensive fall. Then he lost another one there in the last three seconds,” explained Coleman. “But he’s only a freshman and right there with the top three kids in the state. So he’ll be back next year tougher than ever.”
Austin Daniels, of Jenks, pinned 145-pound Chandler Holman to eliminate his run for gold.
As a team Choctaw racked up 138 points, while Broken Arrow followed with 129.5.
Choctaw claimed the Class 6A State Championship to cap the record-setting year, and coaches say there’s plenty more to come in upcoming seasons.
“Anytime you come to a state tournament and walk out with a golden trophy you’re pretty happy. We’ve done something that’s never been done by winning junior high state, high school state, dual state and academic state. We also had three individual state champions so it’s been a good year for Choctaw,” explained Coleman. “We’ll be young, but have a lot of good kids coming back and some young kids in the room that will step in and do a good job. We’ll have to fill Curry, Rendleman and Speer’s spots. But we’ll get it done.”
– All In –
While Choctaw qualified 12 for the state tournament, two weights were missing.
Choctaw claimed a regional championship and sent the entire roster to state with the exception of 113 pounds and 152-pound senior Jeff Speer.
However, despite the two upsetting losses at regionals, Choctaw remained an unstoppable team as proven by their three 2018 high school team titles.
“Speer was winning the match, with a 12-2 lead, to get him into the state tournament, and his knee locked up with the match almost over. He’ll be having surgery, and it just wasn’t meant to be forhim,” said Coleman. “Anytime you’re a senior and one of the top couple kids in the state and that happens it’s tough on your team. He’s been a big part of our team, and that’s why our state shirts said ‘ALL IN.’ He’s here with us.”
While Choctaw had some worries missing the tested and proven Speer at the state tournament the roster was still able to score enough points to claim gold for the team.
For more photos by Ryan Horton visit: https://www.facebook.com/pg/ChoctawTimes/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1712869862132103