All-City wrestling: OU commit Tate Picklo is backbone of Mustang wrestling
MUSTANG — Tate Picklo had high expectations heading into the 2019-20 wrestling season.
The Mustang star was full of confidence after winning his first state title last year as a sophomore.
“I was expecting myself to be pretty dominant,” he said.
Picklo’s junior year went perhaps even better than he envisioned. The OU commit won the Class 6A state title at 182 pounds and completed his second consecutive undefeated season, finishing with a 47-0 record and being named The Oklahoman’s All-City Wrestler of the Year.
Picklo competed at both 182 and 195 pounds throughout the season. When Mustang’s opponent had a talented 195-pounder, Picklo often faced that wrestler. Picklo’s father, Mustang coach Brian Picklo, trusted his son would succeed in the higher weight class.
Tate always looked forward to the challenge.
“I wasn’t intimidated,” he said. “Every day in practice I wrestle with my dad, who weighs like 220 and then Judson Rowland, who was the 220-pound state champ. I knew if I could go with them every day, then I’d have no problem with the 195-pounders.”
Mustang had one of its best seasons in school history. The Broncos placed second at both the dual state tournament in Enid and the state tournament in Oklahoma City.
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Mustang’s success started with Tate. Although he is among the most talented wrestlers in the country, his ability to rally and lead the Broncos is just as noticeable as his performances on the mat.
“He’s the most important part of our team as far as creating the team culture, the vibe, the energy,” Brian said.
“He’s the person that really lights a spark. It’s contagious and it’s been apparent since he was a freshman. He does a lot just by his work ethic, by his determination and his love for wrestling. On the mat is exactly where he wants to be.”
Tate’s success is not a surprise when you consider his family’s athletic prowess.
Brian was a two-time All-American wrestler at Michigan State before joining OU’s coaching staff.
Tate’s twin sister, Trinity, is committed to play soccer at Oklahoma State. Their older brother, Cam, wrestles at OU.
Tate enjoys wrestling for his father. They often train together and discuss ways to improve.
“I love it,” Tate said. “A lot of people don’t like their dads being coaches because they’re a lot harder on them sometimes. I feel like my dad does a good job not being super hard on me just because I’m his son.
“He treats me the same as all the other wrestlers. It’s been a cool experience to be able to succeed with him in my corner.”
One of the things that stands out during Tate’s matches is his athleticism. After pinning Bixby’s Jersey Robb in 49 seconds during their state title match, Tate did a standing back tuck with ease.
He experimented with gymnastics when he was younger.
“I feel like gymnastics actually helps with wrestling a lot, just getting that bodily awareness,” he said. “If you can know where your body is when you're upside down in mid-air, you can find your way out of some weird positions.”
Tate is excited to continue his wrestling career and has several goals beyond high school. He plans to continue searching for ways to get better before heading to OU.
“He’s just a sponge,” Brian said. “He wants to learn more, do more.”