Oklahoma high school wrestling notebook: Skiatook’s Josh Taylor, Cougar Anderson become 4-time state champions
Josh Taylor and Cougar Anderson don’t know what it feels like to leave Oklahoma’s annual high school wrestling state tournament without a title.
The Skiatook seniors each won their fourth state championship Friday at State Fair Arena.
Taylor, a 138-pounder, struck first, beating Tuttle’s Reese Davis 12-4 in the Class 4A finals. About an hour later, the 170-pound Anderson became the state’s 42nd four-time champion. He had a 19-8 victory against Chance Cobb, also from Tuttle.
Taylor finished 25-0 for his first undefeated season, while Anderson improved to 21-0 and went undefeated for the third straight year.
Anderson, who will wrestle for Arkansas at Little Rock, said he had a tough time controlling his pre-match anxiety.
Taylor, who isn’t committed to a college program, wasn’t too nervous heading into Friday. He knew his high school career was special whether it ended with another championship or not.
“I came into this tournament thinking four times is cool, but it’s not everything,” he said. “Life goes on after that. It’s pretty much what got me through the whole tournament. Kept my nerves down thinking like that.
“It’s been a wild ride.”
Carl Albert’s Gober earns gritty victory
Grant Gober had blood dripping from his nose as he raised his hands in victory.
The Carl Albert sophomore had an old-school battle against Claremore’s Aiden Boyd in the Class 5A 120-pound finals, and the match had to be stopped because of Gober’s bleeding nose.
Gober fought through the discomfort and beat Boyd 17-12 for his first state title.
“I just was focused on wrestling and didn’t really care about the nose bleed,” he said.
Gober was the 113-pound state runner-up last season. His championship loss gave him ample motivation in the offseason and leading up to Friday.
“It was my motivation every single day,” he said. “I worked harder just so I could get this championship.”
Collinsville defends title
Collinsville won its fourth consecutive state tournament championship and 10th since 2011.
The Cardinals finished with nearly twice as many points as the second-place finisher and had six champions in Canon Acklin (106 pounds), Clay Gates (113), Cole Brooks (126), Cameron Steed (132), Drake Acklin (145) and Jordan Williams (152).
Claremore placed second in the standings, and Glenpool was third.