ENID, Okla. — Enid’s wrestlers will look to break last year’s record of sending four qualifiers to the state tournament when the Plainsmen go to the Eastern Regionals at Broken Arrow Friday and Saturday.
The regionals will have a different format than in past years. The first seven weights (106-145) will be held Friday with the next seven (152-up) going on Saturday. The top five advance to the state tournament Feb. 27 at the State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City.
Enid is accustomed to that format having wrestled under those guidelines at last month’s Jay Hancock Memorial Tournament in Yukon.
“I think we have an excellent opportunity to go and compete and do well,’’ said Enid coach Trent Holland. “It’s a little different (a one-day tournament), but we got to experience that at Yukon and we’re familiar with it and what it looks like. It’s nothing new being thrown at them.’’
The Plainsmen actually have five state qualifiers in the lineup. Defending state champion Chance Davis (26-1) should be the No. 1 seed at 170. Carlos Alvarado (28-7), 220; Daigen Gibbens (20-5), 160; and Trinit Zweifel (3-4), 152; qualified last year. Johnny Villa (18-5), 182, qualified as a sophomore in 2019.
Holland said Alvarado, Gibbens and Villa all have a good chance of being seeded along with Davis. Villa, like Davis, is coming off a championship at Yukon. Alvarado was second. Davis, Villa and Alvarado were all-district selections along with 106-pounder Hector Perez (14-13).
Zweifel has recently come off the injured list, but “his shape is coming along well and he is looking good.’’
“We have a good opportunity in front of us,’’ Holland said. “Those guys have been wrestling well and they have some good wins.’’
Davis has not lost since being pinned by Moore’s Peyton Thomas at the Norman Invitational before Christmas. He has 16 falls.
“He has always been aggressive,’’ Holland said.
Alvarado, Holland said, has been making “some good adjustments on his feet and I see some good stuff with him.’’ Villa and Gibbens have both “been looking good.’’ Torres, Holland said, “can be a tough kid to wrestle at times ... he does some good stuff on the mat. I think he will wrestle tough and do well.’’
The No. 14-ranked Plainsmen will be joined in the field by Bartlesville, No. 5 Bixby, No. 2 Broken Arrow, No. 11 Deer Creek Edmond, Del City, Jenks, Muskogee, Owasso, Ponca City, No. 15 Putnam City, Sand Springs, No. 1 Stillwater, No. 13 Union, Oklahoma City U.S. Grant and No. 9 Westmoore.
The rest of the lineup will consist of Peyton Zweifel (6-17), 113; Zach Fortner (13-14), 120; Jason Pearson (5-20), 126; Stephen Brooks (16-12), 138; Jonathan White (10-12), 145; Tyler Holland (9-2), 195; and Seth Melvin (7-19), 285.
Holland said the regionals are a new season.
“All the other competition has been to get ready for regionals,’’ he said. “We need to get after it here.’’
The Plainsmen have not competed since a 65-15 loss to Stillwater on Jan. 26. Davis had a fall over No. 3-ranked Dax Hughes, while Villa avenged an earlier loss to the Pioneers’ Gaitlin Wilson in a 14-4 major decision.
“The kids have been working hard the last two weeks,’’ Holland said. “We have just been cleaning up some stuff with them. If we just stay in good position and wrestle the whole match and work through things, anything can happen. We just need to clean up the little things and hit our moves. One of the things we have been talking about is having confidence in ourselves and feeding our minds with good, positive stuff. We must stay positive through the whole thing.’’
Holland hasn’t set a particular goal.
“There are some tough weights out there,’’ he said. ‘There’s going to be some guys moving around. We’ll see where everybody falls.’’
Action starts at 10 a.m. both days.