Seth Seago didn’t know much about the University of Arkansas-Little Rock wrestling program, and understandably so.
At the time of his visit, it was still in the developmental stages. The Trojans will begin their inaugural season later this fall.
It didn’t take long for UA-LR to leave its mark on the Claremore senior, though.
Despite the uncertainty, Seago was blown away by what he saw.
“I talked to a couple other schools, but I didn’t go on any of those visits,” Seago said. “Beforehand, I’d go to good Division II schools like UCO, Ft. Hayes State and Ouachita Baptist. I went and visited them, and they were really nice, but when I went to Little Rock, I immediately fell in love with it. They have a nice program with a lot of money going into it.”
One thing that stood out to Seago was the Greg Hatcher Wrestling Center.
According to the Trojan wrestling webpage, the 16,000 square-foot facility features four wrestling mats, coaches offices, locker rooms, a players lounge, a training room and a weight room.
Seago, who accumulated a 39-5 record this season in 220-pound division on the way to a runner-up finish at the state meet, always wanted to wrestle at a Division I school, and UA-LR offered him the opportunity to do just that.
The senior signed his letter of intent on Wednesday morning in the Claremore gym hospitality room, ensuring the continuation of his career.
“It was always like a dream, and it’s nice to make it happen,” Seago said. “I stayed the night there, and I really got along with the teammates. It seemed like the place I wanted to go, and their idea, like what they want to be, that’s what I want to be a part of.”
Seago is Claremore’s first Division I wrestling signee under Zebras coach Chad Willard. Seago will wrestle in the heavyweight division for the Trojans this fall.
“He’s going to be just fine at the heavyweight position because he’s going to be more athletic than them and just as strong as them,” Willard said. “The guy can bench a house.”
HEADING TO LABETTE
Dakota Martin and Dylan Priddy have been inseparable friends for years, and they will continue that bond in college on the mat and as roommates.
Alongside Seago, the duo signed to wrestle for Labette Community College in Parsons, Kan., on Wednesday morning.
“It’s like a brotherhood,” Priddy said. “We do everything together.”
Martin (195) and Priddy (138) join former teammates Parker Price, Cordell Hunt and Paul Odell, who signed with the Cardinals last season.
Tracy Reeder, who graduated from Claremore in 2017, is also taking his talents to Labette after transferring from the University of Central Oklahoma.
Additionally, Willard coached Labette assistant coach Julian Smith when he was in college.
“We have a couple of other kids who we sent up there last year, so it’s a good fit,” Willard said. “I’ve got some trust there, so I try to send them that way.
“It’s becoming a Claremore pipeline.”
Willard said once the everyday struggles of being a student-athlete in college introduce themselves, being longtime friends will work in Martin and Priddy’s favor.
After all, having someone to lean on in difficult times can make all the difference.
“This is going to be perfect for their friendship, and it’ll help when college gets hard,” Willard said. “They haven’t let each other down, so I don’t expect them to do that, either.”