Tuttle wrestling team off to hot start

Tigers lost three state champions but have been impressive to start the season.
by Trent Shadid Published: January 2, 2014
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— After graduating three state champions, most wrestling programs would likely take a step back.

Not Tuttle.

Despite losing five state qualifiers and three champions from last year's Class 4A state title team, the Tigers appear to be as talented as ever.

Not only are the five-time defending state champions No. 1 in 4A yet again, they've proven to be one of the top teams in the state regardless of class.

Tuttle took first at the Mid America Nationals in Enid with 274 team points, blowing out the competition, which included 5A No. 1 Lawton Mac and No. 2 Collinsville.

A week later, the Tigers placed third in a loaded field at the Kansas City Stampede Tournament with 444 team points — finishing ahead of 6A No. 1 Edmond North and behind only Archer, Ga., and 6A No. 2 Stillwater.

“It's been a combination of things,” said Matt Surber, who is in his seventh year as head coach. “Success breeds success, and we've got tradition in Tuttle. Our kids understand if they put in the work, the opportunity to be successful is there because they've seen it.”

Seniors Blake Dauphin (126 pounds) and Dakota Head (152 pounds), and junior Dustin Mason (285 pounds) lead the way as returning state champions.

“We've got some really good leadership with our seniors and the guys who have had success in the past,” Surber said. “We were a little bit worried losing three state champions and two other multiple-time state placers from last year. But a lot of guys have stepped up and shown improvement. I've been pleasantly surprised with the development.”

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by Trent Shadid
Copy Editor
Trent Shadid is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Weatherford, Okla., and attended Weatherford High School. Before joining The Oklahoman, he spent two seasons as an assistant wrestling coach at Weatherford High...
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