Broken Arrow Express
Courtesy Broken Arrow wrestling.
More trophies were added to Broken Arrow’s tradition-rich wrestling history as the season wrapped up at the state tournament in the last weekend in February in Oklahoma City.
The Tigers did come up 16 points short of repeating as Class 6A state champions as a team. They finished with 109.5 points, making them runner-up to Choctaw, who won with 125.5.
But three Broken Arrow wrestlers were crowned state champions in their weight divisions. First-place medals went to Isaiah Page (170 pounds), Zach Marcheselli (182) and Skyler Haynes (195).
Page edged Jenks’ Drew Hinkle 7-5 to win his championship match, Marcheselli was victorious over Choctaw’s Easton Rendleman 5-3, and Haynes defeated Mustang’s Kaden Truelove, 6-2.
The titles were a first for each wrestler. With Page and Haynes being seniors, it marked a glorious end to their high school careers. For Marcheselli, it was a similar feeling to a freshman campaign that could be the beginning of four-year title run. But he is not taking it for granted.
“You take one match at a time and you don’t look that far ahead,” Marcheselli says. “You just take one match at a time, one year at a time, and if it falls that way, that would be great.”
Marcheselli only had three losses in the 2015-16 season. All came to foes who finished as state champions in Class 5A. Two came to Jerome Townsell of Edison, who won the 170-pound title, another was the Bear Hughes of Coweta, who won at 182.
He learned some things in each of his losses.
“It told me not to be overconfident,” Marcheselli says. “That for sure. I think that was a little bit of a problem when I went into those matches.”
The losses did serve as a springboard for motivation.
“I wanted to prove that I’m just as good as they are,” he says. “So, it definitely made me want to work harder, so I can be the best in Oklahoma.”
What were the keys to beating Rendleman?
“Don’t get to nervous with it being a big one on the big stage,” Marcheselli says. “He has a real good Fireman’s carry and I was trying to be cautious of that.”
While winning state was significant for the Tiger freshman, the fact that Rendleman was from Choctaw didn’t seem to matter to Marcheselli, although the Yellowjackets won the team title.
“They were already so far ahead, we couldn’t catch up,” he says.
A constant work ethic, running real hard after practice and not taking any breaks, Marcheselli believes, were the key to his training en route to the state championship.
Marcheselli now joins a long line of athletes who have captured state championships in the sport of wrestling at Broken Arrow.
“It feels pretty good to be a part of it,” Marcheselli says. “They’re known for really good wrestling and I just want to be a part of that and continue that legacy.”
He may take it one match at a time, but now he’ll concentrate and repeating next year as a sophomore.