Two Stephens County wrestlers came home with the title of national champions. Team Oklahoma won the 2019 Freestyle Junior Dual National Championship in Tulsa this past weekend.
Comanche’s Konner Doucet in all of his matches on the dual team went 6-1 while Duncan’s Stephen Culberson went 5-3 as part of their big win over several states in their run for the title.
Duncan’s wrestling Coach Bobby Cook is the head freestyle coach for the state team and it is his third title as coach but first since 2016.
“As a whole, it is good exposure for our state. We are no stranger to winning that thing, it has been three or four years since we have done it while doing it back-to-back three or four years ago,” Cook said. “It is a good time to do this with the strength of Stephens County wrestling as a whole and to have a couple of county representatives is a great thing.”
Doucet, who will be a senior for Comanche High School this year and verbally committed to Oklahoma State Wrestling program, will be going for his fourth state title in the 2019-2020 school year.
Getting to spend time around Doucet, Cook said that he was a major part of the victory and knows he worked hard during the tournament.
“He was fantastic and a major part of contributing to that,” Cook said. “He is a good kid and I have enjoyed my time being around him.”
Culberson, who had Cook as a coach for his sophomore season, got a chance to compete in the Junior Dual National Championship and represent Duncan as the second Stephens County representative.
Cook liked what he saw from Culberson and knows that this was a good experience for him to compete and get better for his upcoming season.
“He is a guy that probably down the road the national team will need to lean on moving forward in these duals,” Cook said. “It was a good experience for him to help season him a little bit and help his further development in the sport.”
With the tournament finished, Cook was proud of the way the whole team came together despite some missing key parts and made it a good experience for the victory.
“I kind of felt like that even though they were from different areas, I felt like they kind of bonded as a team and came together in the course of a week,” Cook said. “Early in the rounds we were able to gain some momentum and once we got to the All-American round on Saturday I felt pretty good where we were at.”
Beating the likes of New Jersey, Ohio, Minnesota and Illinois, Cook said that the team did a great job performing and bringing home a national championship for the state of Oklahoma.
“We got on a magical run in those last three duals and it was a lot of fun to be a part of,” Cook said. “The kids were the ones who did it. I didn’t have anything to do with it other then patting them on the back and telling them to get after it. It was a fun experience.”