There may not have been any drama in Tuttle’s 13th straight and 19th overall Dual State Wrestling Championship last week, but the Tigers certainly don’t take winning another team title for granted.
“We wrestled really well,” stated head coach Bobby Williams. “They went out there and took care of business. It was a great team effort on their part.”
Tuttle won this year’s Dual State crown in convincing fashion, knocking off Cache 65-9 in the quarterfinals, Catoosa 58-14 in the semifinals and Wagoner 66-12 in the championship match.
“Everybody says it must be great to just be able to walk in there and win it, but that’s not how it happens,” said Williams, who’s in his second year at the helm after a long stint as a Tiger assistant. “Those guys don’t take anything for granted. We preach to never look ahead and always focus on the match in front of you. They did a good job of that.”
Winning 13 straight Dual State titles isn’t something Williams and the Tigers dwell on. Talk about “The Streak” is reserved for after the season.
“I don’t ever talk about it,” admitted Williams. “I never bring it up. I don’t. We just focus on the kids that we’ve got and take it one tournament at a time. I don’t ever want to get caught looking ahead. To be honest, even when we’re competing in the tournament, I’m not thinking about it. I don’t want to put extra weight on the kids. Wrestling is a tough enough sport as it is.”
The Tigers are loaded from the top of their roster to the bottom. Harley Andrews (220 lbs) and Braden Potts (120 lbs) are defending state champions. Reese Davis is a three-time state finalist who won an individual title in 2020 at 126 pounds. The rest of the lineup is full of state qualifiers, program guys and up-and-coming underclassmen.
“Harley is a good kid,” gushed Williams on the senior who has bumped up to heavyweight this season. “He’s good around the younger guys. He’s a mentor to them. He’s an outstanding individual. He’s not just a great wrestler and a great athlete, he’s just a really good kid.”
According to Williams, there’s no secret formula for Tuttle’s continued wrestling success.
“Man, we put a lot of time into it,” remarked Williams. “We work hard and we spend a lot of time wrestling. Guys who are in college come back and wrestle with these guys. It’s a revolving thing here. We have great support from the families here at Tuttle. That goes for all sports. We’re extremely blessed. We’ve got a lot of good kids in our town.”
The cupboard isn’t bare for future Tuttle wrestling squads either. There are several underclassmen in the starting lineup and the junior high team recently finished second at the All-State Junior High Wrestling Championships.
“We have a good crop of 7th, 8th and 9th grade guys that are coming up,” stated Williams. “We get the opportunity to be with them during the school day as well. We have in-school athletics for junior high, so we get to work with them the whole year through. They’re allowed and encouraged to come after school to the high school practice too. We have some guys that are ready to step up and be the next guy.”
Tuttle heads to Clinton this weekend to compete in the 2022 Class 4A West Regional tournament. The State Wrestling Championships are scheduled for February 25-26 at Jim Norick Arena in Oklahoma City.