Croak had to be. In fact, a bunch of his teammates had to have that focus. The strength of this team going into the year was its experience and leadership. The seniors haven't disappointed, but they wanted to make sure they had one last run.
Carl Albert has five seniors that will be wrestling this weekend. If anybody had a bigger regional outing than Croak, it was Kentrell Pierson at 189. Pierson made the finals yet only enters with a 21-18 record.
Carl Albert also has Jacob Lusch (119), Eric Waggoner (135) and Blake Lam (140) as the other seniors.
"It's time to step up and take charge," Barnett said. "I know these kids can do it."
The biggest adjustment for Croak came in the strength department. He said Gibson was easily the strongest competitor he's ever wrestled. But the shape and conditioning he was in because of the regime set by the coaches helped him and the rest of the team push through.
"Since junior high, we've all been together," Croak said. "I'm going to remember this weekend for the rest of my life. It's really awesome to see how many of us have made it to state and this final weekend. This is what we expect."
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Wrestling state tournament schedule Friday 10:30 a.m.: first round all classes 5 p.m.: first round consolations 7:15 p.m.: championship semifinals Saturday 10:30 a.m.: consolation semifinals 12:45 p.m.: consolation finals 5 p.m.: ceremonies followed by finals and awards