The most storied wrestling program in the state of Oklahoma has plenty to be excited about coming into the start of the 2022-23 season.
Boys head coach Ladd Rupp is no stranger to wrestling a tough schedule. It’s what the Perry wrestling program is built on. But this season expect any dual with Perry to be one of the toughest on every opponent’s schedule.
With several wrestlers ranked in the top 10 by owrestle.com the Maroons have the look of a team most people will not be excited to see on the mat.
Ranked in the top 10 at 152-pounds is junior, Treg Bowman. Bowman is facing a ton of upperclassmen in the division, but he has shown he possesses the talent to compete and win against some of the best in the weight class.
Kaleb Owens returns after winning a state title at 170-pounds. Owens, now a senior, should have the No.1 spot and possibly make a move to 165-pounds, which is a lighter weight than last year’s state title weight. However, Owens will face some competition from the likes of Jack Wilkins at Salina, Connor Gough from Jay, and Kasen VanBuskirk at Comanche.
Ethan Hughes is back for his senior season and is looking to improve on what he accomplished last season. Hughes could fill the spot at 175 this season or possibly go as high as 190 but look for him on the bracket at 175.
Perry did graduate a state champion in Chance Davis who brought home the gold at 160-pounds last year. Finding someone to fill his spot and others is the top priority coming into the season.
As a team, Perry is ranked No.9 pre-season, behind No.1 Blackwell, No.2 Marlow, No.3 Jay, No.4 Salina, No.5 Comanche, No.6 Pawnee, No. 7 Vinita, and No. 8 Berryhill.
DID YOU KNOW
As a team, Perry has 43 state championships in wrestling. Their first came in 1952 when Joe McQuain (136), Marty McQuain (141), and Bill Pricer (168) all won state titles. Their last state title as a team came in 2019 when Ryan Smith (113), Dylan Avery (132), and Hadyn Redus (152) won titles in their respective weight classes. In 2019, Perry also won a dual state championship.
The first state champion in school history was Jap Wood (125) in 1925. The following year (1926) Charles Watson (175) would become the second state champion in school history. Sixteen years later in 1942, Perry would crown their third state champion in John St. Clair (145) who would win back-to-back titles in 1942-43.
Perry has three four-time state champions in Cecil Beisel (1975-78), Ian Fisher (2007-10), and current head coach Ladd Rupp (2006-09). Perry is tied with Collinsville with three four-timers, while Tuttle is in the lead with four, four-timers.