Oklahoma wrestling: Team captain Kendric Maple encourages teammates to step up

On Sunday, the Sooners wrestle in Corvallis, Ore. in the National Duals Oregon State Regional — arguably the toughest bracket in the nation. The Sooners' first match is Sunday against Virginia Tech.
By Kyle Fredrickson, For The Oklahoman Published: February 16, 2013
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photo - Sooner Kendric Maple escapes from Julian Feikert in the 141pound match in Bedlam wrestling as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) in college NCAA wrestling at McCasland Field House on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, in Norman, Okla.   Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Sooner Kendric Maple escapes from Julian Feikert in the 141pound match in Bedlam wrestling as the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys (OSU) in college NCAA wrestling at McCasland Field House on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, in Norman, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

“Anytime I see that we're going up against the best of the best, that's when you get a chance to prove yourself,” Maple said. “It will be a good steppingstone.”

Cody reiterated that sentiment. If the Sooners are to gain momentum heading into the NCAA Tournament come March, this is the time to start. But it won't be easy, especially with OU's youth. They start five freshmen.

“For some reason, the young guys are having their doubts,” Cody said. “I think with many of those guys, they don't think at this point in their career that they're supposed to be winning every match. And really, they are capable of winning. They work hard, they practice hard, but I think they're still finding their way.

“I told them after practice tonight; it would not surprise me if we won this region. We're capable of doing that. That's if everybody is wrestling to their potential. But that hasn't happened yet.”

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