By Mike Moguin
GTR Sports Writer
With an increase in girls wrestling, state perennial power Broken Arrow announced last spring the launch of a program.
Broken Arrow Public Schools made the announcement with the hiring of former Oklahoma City University standout Cassidy Jasperson.
Jasperson graduated from Clear Springs High School in League City, Texas, where she posted a record of 42-1 while winning a state championship as a senior.
She went on to have a stellar collegiate career with the OCU women’s program, where she was a captain and a five-time collegiate All-American. Jasperson also won the bronze medal at the 2017 U.S. Senior Open and finished third at the inaugural NAIA National Women’s Invitational.
While at OCU, Jasperson did not know a lot about the high school level of Oklahoma wrestling. But when Broken Arrow came calling, she found that she and the athletic department had the same kind of vision. “It was a ‘love at first sight’ kind of thing,” she said.
“When Athletic Director Steve Dunn reached out, I did my research and thought ‘Oh my goodness! This team is incredible. They have a dynasty here.’ They have an insane culture here that I love and honestly it just fuels me,” Jasperson added.
The dynasty is that of the Tiger boys, who won numerous state championships over the past two decades, including last season.
“I just feel so lucky that this is the school that I’m starting this program with,” Jasperson said. “They care a lot about being the best in wrestling and that’s what you don’t see at a lot of schools. Some schools may have a wrestling program, but this school has actually been investing a lot in their program and you see the success that happens when you invest in something, it pays back in dividends. And clearly, that’s what happens here at Broken Arrow.”
As of late October, Jasperson said that 43 girls have come aboard to compete. Only three have experience.
Practices began when school started back in August. Jasperson said that the girls have persevered through hard and lengthy workouts.
Most of the girls who have come out come from families.
“They knew what they were getting themselves into and they knew it was going to be tough. They have been working out hard and I told them right off the bat I don’t want us to be just the girls’ team,” Jasperson said. “The boys’ team has an exceptional legacy and dynasty and I want us to be right there with them. There is no reason why we shouldn’t be first. We have the members, we have the technique, we have the skill set, we have the resources, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be state champions.”
Broken Arrow held its first girls’ competition in an open tournament on Nov. 9. It will run parallel with a boys’ tournament. It also has a dual Dec. 6 at Claremore. Jasperson will also be taking her squad Jan. 3-4 to Houston to wrestle in the largest tournament in Texas. As many as 160 teams compete in that event, which she competed in herself all four years of her high school career.
The Lady Tigers are also to wrestle Noble in a dual on Jan. 19 at Oklahoma City University, which will precede an OCU women’s dual that day.
An all-girls tournament hosted by the program will take place Feb. 8-9. It will be open to all female grapplers across the state.
Jasperson believes her girls are making progress and are bound to hit their peak at the right time.
“They have a great energy and they’re ready to go,” she said.