DUANE DaPRON

Progress Correspondent



TULSA — If he could have written a movie script for his final season of wrestling at Catoosa High School last year, Brett Gray might have been hard-pressed to come up with a film that bettered reality.

Undefeated season.

Member of dual state championship team which unseated the 10-time defending kingpins.

Individual state championship.

Accepting a scholarship to continue his wrestling career at an NCAA Division I university.

Gray was one of a quartet of Rogers County athletes who put the finishing touches on their high school athletic careers on Monday night during the wrestling competition at the annual All-State Games held at the Union Multipurpose Athletic Center on the Union High School campus.

Joining Gray for their final appearances at the high school level were Catoosa teammate Randy White, Josh Stonecipher from Inola and Corey Johnson from Oologah.

Gray closed out his prep career in style by pinning Derrick Gaines of Midwest City Carl Albert at 2:46 in the 140-pound weight class.

The victory capped a year that saw Gray, who will compete next fall for the University of Oregon of the Pac-10 Conference, finish with a 33-0 ledger on his way to capturing the 140-pound title at the Class 4A state tourney.

That individual crown came just one week after the Indians had knocked off El Reno to earn the Dual State championship. El Reno had won 10 consecutive Dual State titles.

“We came in to the season with high expectations,” Gray said. “We had the team and the guys to do it. Winning Dual State … that was awesome.”

Helping Gray in the Indians’ push to the top of the Class 4A Dual State mountain was White.

“That meant a lot to get the championship as a team,” said White, who went on to finish second in the 152-pound division at last winter’s Class 4A state tourney.

White, who wrestled alongside Gray throughout their elementary and high school days, closed his prep career by dropping a 6-2 decision to Jason Madison of Oklahoma City Western Heights in the All-State’s Large East competition Monday night.

Despite the setback, the Large East — buoyed by a 19-6 early advantage — staved off a Large West rally to record a 25-24 victory.

In the small-school competition, Stonecipher and Johnson helped the East to an easy 37-16 win against the West.

Stonecipher got the East rolling at 119 pounds with a resounding 16-6 victory against Tyler Shadid of Weatherford

In the match, Stonecipher — who finished fourth at 119 at the Class 2A state tourney — jumped to a quick 5-0 lead only to see Shadid rally to go ahead 6-5 after one period.

But from there on, it was all Stonecipher, who is Inola’s first All-State wrestler in 10 years. Seth Jacobsen, in 1996, had been the last Longhorn to gain the honor.

“I was a little nervous in the first period, but then I just blocked everything out after the first couple of minutes,” said Stonecipher, who plans to attend Rogers State University and major in nursing.

On the wrestling mats since the third grade, Stonecipher doesn’t hesitate in recalling his favorite high school athletic moment.

“It was getting selected to All-State,” he said. “What an awesome feeling.”

Johnson, whose runner-up finish in the 215-pound weight class at the 2006 Class 3A state tournament vaulted Oologah into 11th place, ended his prep career with a narrow 3-2 loss to Weatherford’s Kyle Yoder in the heavyweight division.

Johnson, who compiled a 33-3 mark as a senior, will continue his wrestling days at Oklahoma City University this fall. The Stars will be in their inaugural season of wrestling under new coach Archie Randall, who leaves his successful 13-year tenure at El Reno to move into the collegiate ranks.

“I’ll just do what the coaches and my dad have always told me when I wrestle in college — never quit and give 110 percent,” Johnson said.

This Week's Circulars