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2020 carries title significance for BA wrestlers

Tigers look to repeat as Dual State champions this weekend

Coach Rod Jones (left) returns to post season wrestling, but this time as the BA head coach.
5e45768e69b96Coach Rod Jones (left) returns to post season wrestling, but this time as the BA head coach.
Coach Rod Jones (left) returns to post season wrestling, but this time as the BA head coach.

Twenty-twenty.

For Broken Arrow Tiger Wrestling it means more than a year on the calendar or measurement of clear vision.

Eighteen years are listed on the state championship board in the varsity wrestling room. Two more titles this season will raise the total to 20.

“We’ve got to win Number 19 before we can get to Number 20,” said BA wrestling coach Rod Jones.

That could happen this weekend as Broken Arrow, Class 6A’s top-ranked team, seeks to repeat as Oklahoma Dual StateChampions. If the rankings hold this weekend at the Stride Bank Center in Enid then the opportunity for Number 20 will come at the OSSAA State Tournament in Oklahoma City in two weeks.

“The only team who can beat us is us,” Jones said.

Class 6A Dual State BracketSo far, the Tigers have defeated every Oklahoma team it has faced, including No. 2-ranked Mustang, 40-20, in the first match after Winter Break. Broken Arrow has dual victories over the top two teams in Texas – Allen and Arlington Martin – and Arkansas – Bentonville.

It’s no wonder Jones speaks words of confidence about his team.

“We don’t have a set of goals we write up,” he said. “The expectations of the program is to win state championships and they know that. It’s not like all of a sudden, we have an opportunity to win a state championship or be contenders. We like to think we are a top contender to win a state championship every year.”

Over the past decade Broken Arrow has won three Dual State titles and five State Tournament championships. There are several runner-up finishes in that mix as well.

“Everybody we have has been through this process before,” said Jones, who is experiencing it for the first time as Broken Arrow’s head coach. “They know when they need to be 100 percent and at their best.

“We’re not scared to lose as much as understanding what’s going to be required to win. That’s the way it is every time we step out there.”

It’s the old athletic competition adage: “to be the best you’ve got to beat the best.” In 2020 in Oklahoma, Broken Arrow carries that mantle.

“Everybody is going to give us their best shot, so we better be ready to go,” Jones said. “It’s more than just having the knowledge of a team that can be a championship team. You have to step out there and earn it.”