Monday vs. Frizzell: a matchup fans dream about

Bob Hersom Published: December 10, 1982
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Kenny Monday vs. Roger Frizzell. Wrestling fans get excited when they think about that.

So you can imagine how excited they'll be Saturday night when Oklahoma State's Monday and Oklahoma's Frizzell meet at 150 pounds in Bedlam Wrestling, Part 104, at Gallagher Hall.

It will be the only time Saturday night that two wrestlers ranked among the nation's top eight by Amateur Wrestling News will meet.

Last year, Monday and Frizzell finished second and third behind Iowa State's Nate Carr at the NCAA Championships. That's how those three are ranked this year, too, by AWN. Monday, a junior, and Frizzell, a senior, have met twice before, the Cowboy winning both times: 4-2 at last week's Caesar's Palace Invitational finals and 8-2 in last year's dual meet at Stillwater.

This year, Monday is 9-0 and Frizzell is 11-1.

Both Bedlam coaches, Tom Chesbro of OSU and Stan Abel of OU, are excited about Monday-Frizzell, Part III. Almost as excited as the fans were last Sunday night at the Caesar's Palace Sports Pavilion, when Frizzell barely missed two takedowns which could have spelled victory. (Portions of the Caesar's Palace meet will be shown Saturday from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. on ESPN).

"After the match between Kenny and Roger," said Chesbro, "the crowd gave them a standing ovation. It was the most exciting match of the entire tournament."

"It was the only standing ovation of the tournament," said Abel.

"As a result of the fierceness of that match," said Chesbro, "Kenny was named the tournament's outstanding wrestler. I think the award all fell back on that match. Whoever won that match was going to be named the outstanding wrestler.

"And I expect the same kind of action when they meet Saturday night."

Abel does, too.

"It will be another very good match," said the OU coach. "At least we hope it is, because we'd like to see an upset. Both have been training very hard.

"Both obviously are very good athletes, and it should be a hotly contested match if we can cut down the mat and limit Monday's range.

But Monday is so quick and has such great leverage that it's difficult to work with him."

Monday's 2-0 record against Frizzell should be a plus for OSU, but Cowboy coach Chesbro says it could work the other way.

"Any time two wrestlers of this caliber meet," said Chesbro, "the competition gets closer and closer. It's hard to beat someone that good so many times in a row."

As you would have guessed, both Monday and Frizzell have had glorious mat careers, in high school and college.

Monday was a four-time state champion at Tulsa Washington, going undefeated with one tie (to Tahlequah's Mike Sheets, now an OSU teammate) in 141 matches. Frizzell, meanwhile, was a three-time state champ at tradition-rich Midwest City.

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