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Broken Arrow Express

B.A. Wrestler Celebrates First Place Finish

GTR Sports Writer

THE WINNER: Broken Arrow wrestler Reece Witcraft, center, is honored as the 126-pound champion at the Class 6A state wrestling meet. His coach, Sean Jones, left, stands with the placers.

Reece Witcraft made his mark in Broken Arrow’s wrestling legacy with a first-place finish in the Class 6A state wrestling tournament last month in Oklahoma City.

Witcraft, a junior who finished the year with a record of 36-6, was one of three state champions for the Tigers, who finished second in the team standings with 129.5 points, 8.5 behind Choctaw, who won with 138. Witcraft won the 126-pound championship bout with a win over the Yellowjackets’ Colt Newton, pinning at the 3:22 mark into the match. The other two state champions were fellow juniors Gavin Potter (195) and Zach Marcheselli (220).

It wasn’t the first time Witcraft faced Newton. They also battled for the same weight-class in dual-state two weeks earlier. Witcraft finished on the receiving end of an 8-5 decision in the match. That brought motivation.

“After I lost, I started looking at the match, picking out what I needed to do when I wrestle (Newton) again,” Witcraft says. “I knew I was going to wrestle him in the finals, so I switched up what I did.”

It paid off.

“He shot at me and I whipped him to his back, then I got on top,” Witcraft says. “It felt great. After losing to him in dual state, it felt a lot better to beat him in the finals.”  

Another spark of motivation came from losing by fall in the 5A 126-pound final when he was a student at Coweta.   

Witcraft relocated with his family from Coweta to Broken Arrow, which led to the change of schools.

“Last year was a rough year, I thought,” he says. “I wasn’t wrestling like I should have been, and I went to the state finals. I got in an awkward situation, I landed on my back and I got pinned. After that, I spent the offseason wrestling and I got better.”

As for the other state winners, Potter (34-4) won state for the second straight year. He became a two-time state champ, beat Choctaw’s Easton Rendleman in a 1-0 decision. Marcheselli became a three-time state champ as he took a 3-2 decision over Mason Lancaster (34-3) of Putnam City.

Other Broken Arrow wrestlers who placed were Caleb Wise (160, runner-up), Bryce Mattioda (176, runner-up) and Brady Mattioda (152, third).

Meanwhile, Witcraft and his teammates would have liked to have the team championship as well.

“It was tough because we think we should have won,” he says. “We just had a couple of bad performances, not bad, but could have done better and we could have won it. We’ll win it next year.

The Tigers do have all their state champs back and only have two seniors leaving.
What Witcraft likes most about wrestling is the winning.

“I like all the hard work it takes to win, and after winning a hard match, how it feels,” he said. “I think it offers a lot of discipline with the weight management and I think it’s very mental.”

The headlock is his favorite move.

“If I get it, they’re pinned,” he adds.

Witcraft’s favorite wrestler is Yianni Diakomihalis of Cornell.

The key to repeating next season, Witcraft said, is just working harder.

“I got to keep the same hunger as I had this year,” he says.

Being involved in freestyle wrestling is in Witcraft’s plans this summer.

Updated 04-19-2018

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