WAGONER - Energy soared, and Celebration filled the air for Grove Takedown Club Wrestlers during critical bouts at the 2020 Oklahoma Kids Wrestling Association Northeast Regional Wrestling Tournament on Saturday, February 8th. GTC (51-team points) placed 3rd in Division 2 against 31 teams gathered at Wagoner, OK. GTC fell to first place - Collinsville Cardinal Wrestling (126 pts), and 2nd place - Roller Academy of Wrestling RAW (56 pts).
In a seven-man bracket, Ricky “The Beast” Kantor tap-danced his way through the Division 2 Heavyweight title for the Ridgerunners. Kantor pinned his first two opponents in a time of :32 and 1:11 respectively. Kantor then tested out a few new techniques during his heavyweight Championship match, winning by score of 15-0, and a technical fall against his opponent before the buzzer during the second period. Kantor comes into his first open Regionals competition for the Grove Takedown Club. Kantor won second place at Novice State tournament two weeks ago, which is designed for beginners. The Novice State Champ that defeated Kantor placed third at Regionals.
Also winning Gold was Kiowyn Deaton. Deaton, Division 2, dropped down from his previous weight class to compete at 67 pounds for the NE Regional Title. Deaton, towering over his opponents, won by decision (8-7) versus Pilon Timothy from Tahlequah in the Championship Finals.
Another Grove wrestler competing in the same bracket as Deaton also racked-up the points for GTC. Toby Shield turned up the volume inside the Wagoner High School arena on Saturday, and had the crowd on their feet. Shield showed up un-seeded in the tournament and won four critical matches in a row after his first loss, finishing in 4th place, with a 4W-2L record on the day. Shield lost by major decision (13-3) to Sawyer Watkins from Spiro Bulldogs on the championship side, but he made adjustments, got momentum, and defeated Watkins in the consolation semi-finals match. Score tied in the end of the 3rd period, Shield attacked Watkins, set him up, and nailed a well timed hip toss, landing Watkins on his back for the 4-2 decision. Shield lost his third place match by (0-2) decision.
Deaton and Shield may square-off in the OKWA State Championship depending on how the brackets play out. Seeding for the state tournament is based on Regional performance.
Other wrestlers competing for GTC included: Division 1; Division 2 - Weston Mathia (83 pounds - 4th), Fisher Hill (90 lbs-5th); Division 3 - Nolan Houseman (67 lbs-6th); Division 4 - Jase Hana (80 lbs-2nd), Elijah Rabel (84 lbs-7th), Collin Richard (88 lbs-4th), Gavin Wyatt (100 lbs-7th), Aiden Davis (105 lbs-2nd); Division 5 - Sam Padilla (119lbs-3rd), Joshua Gesell (140-8th), Laird Thompson (170lbs-6th).
All wrestlers placing in top 6 for their respective age division and weight bracket will have a chance to compete at the OKWA State Championship in Oklahoma City, OK on February 14-15. Good luck wrestlers, and congratulations on completing your season.