Broken Arrow Express
WRESTLING RECOGNITION: The Broken Arrow High School wrestling team celebrates after winning the title of 2014 6A Dual State Champions. Starter Tanner Bailey, front row, fourth from right, has ranked among the top four wrestlers in the state for all four years of his high school wrestling career. Pictured at left is Bailey wrestling an opponent during the Dual State Championship.
The Broken Arrow High School wrestling team recently earned the 2014 title of 6A Dual State Champions and also placed third in state competition.
Senior wrestler Tanner Bailey is no stranger to wrestling or to winning.
Bailey started wrestling when he was five years old thanks to his father, a high school and college wrestler, who encouraged him to try the sport.
Yet, Bailey can’t quite put his finger on what it is about wrestling that has kept him in it all of these years. “I just liked it and stayed with it,” he says. After a little thought, he continues, “It’s an individual sport, but you perform for yourself and for your team.”
Bailey has certainly performed. He has ranked among the top four wrestlers in the state for all four years of his high school wrestling career. He earned third place as a freshman, second as a sophomore and a senior, and first place as a junior.
As for any young ones thinking about getting involved in the sport, Bailey lists a number of reasons why they should: “It’s a fun sport; the team feels like a family, and it teaches life lessons like perseverance and being accountable, taking the work home with you,” he says, referencing weight management as one prime example.
Of course, accountability also comes in the form of academics. “It’s easy to lose focus,” says Bailey. “But you have to care about your grades.”
Bailey is presently enrolled in two Tulsa Community College classes and, upon graduation, will have earned upwards of 24 college credit hours.
“He’s been a leader for four seasons. He’s looked up to in the weight room,” says his wrestling coach Shawn Jones. “He’s what we want our kids to be.”
Bailey’s college destination is, as yet, undetermined. His planned major, on the other hand, petroleum engineering, was determined due to his strengths in math and science and positive feedback he has gained from individuals he knows who work in the field.
He is also still undecided regarding whether he will wrestle in college. “It would be a heavy workload to have to perform athletically and academically,” he says.
To blow off steam, Bailey enjoys playing disc, or Frisbee, golf: “It’s relaxing and fun; you get to be outdoors and there’s an element of competition.” He plays at Nienhuis Park in Broken Arrow but especially enjoys playing at Haikey Creek because of the challenge of its course.