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TWU Wrestling crowned SAC Champions

McPHERSON, Kan. — In just their second year as a program, the Texas Wesleyan Men’s Wrestling team won the Sooner Athletic Conference championship this weekend hosted by Central Christian College-Kansas.

The tournament was held in conjunction with the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference with the best finishers from each conference crowned champions.

The Rams racked up 145.5 total points, 12.5 points ahead of second place and last year’s winner (No. 17) Oklahoma City and 25.5 points more than third place Wayland Baptist. Ottawa University had the most points with 157, winning the KCAC title.

Two TXWES grapplers won their respective individual titles automatically qualifying for nationals in La’Stot Pleasant (141-lb.) and Don Doyle (174-lb.). Enis Ida (157-lb.) finished runner-up, also punching his ticket to nationals.

The top two individuals in each weight class automatically qualify for nationals. The NAIA will announce 4 at-large individual qualifiers from each weight class on Feb. 23.

Pleasant was also named Wrestler of the Year and Freshman of the Year. He went 13-3 this season, and in the finals, he won over Jaxen Gilmore (Oklahoma City) in an 8-3 decision.

Doyle is 10-7 in his sophomore campaign and won over Jesse Daniel Perez (Ottawa University) in the finals by sudden victory in overtime 12-10. Doyle had the most single match points at the tournament with 19.

Ida has an 8-5 record his junior season and fell to OCU’s Drake Vannoy in a 7-0 decision. Ida had two pins during the weekend.

Head coach Ray Bedford was named Coach of the Year.

Two Rams placed third in No. 12 Dracius McKee (165-lb.) and Brahn Howard (184-lb.).

Isaac Stalcup and Rylan Bonds placed 4th. Christian Espinoza, Ja’Marcus Thomas and Deandre Rucker finished 5th, and Kobe Nelms in 6th.

The NAIA Wrestling Championships will take place March 5-6 at the Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas.

Sooner Athletic Conference Awards
Wrestler of the year: La’stot Pleasant, Texas Wesleyan
Tournament outstanding wrestler: Billy Sullivan, Oklahoma City
Freshman of the year: La’stot Pleasant, Texas Wesleyan
Newcomer of the year: Johnathan Ortegon, Wayland Baptist
Coach of the year: Ray Bedford, Texas Wesleyan
Most falls, tournament: Jon McGowan, Oklahoma City, four

2021 SAC/KCAC Championships
Team Results
1 Ottawa University (KCAC) 157.0
2 Texas Wesleyan 145.5
3 Oklahoma City 133.0
4 Wayland Baptist (Texas) 120.0
5 York (Neb.) 68.5
6 Bethany (Kan.) 62.5
6 Oklahoma Wesleyan 62.5
8 Central Christian College (Kan.) 15.5
9 University Of Saint Mary (Kan.) 0.0
SAC Individual Automatic Qualifiers
1st Place – Billy Sullivan of Oklahoma City
2nd Place – Johnathon Ortegon of Wayland Baptist (Texas)
1st Place – Bobby Robinson of Ottawa University
2nd Place – Kaden Goff of Bethany (Kan.)
1st Place – La`Stot Pleasant of Texas Wesleyan
2nd Place – Jaxen Gilmore of Oklahoma City
1st Place – John Fox of York (Neb.)
2nd Place – Ryan Delforge of Ottawa University
1st Place – Drake Vannoy of Oklahoma City
2nd Place – Enis Ida of Texas Wesleyan
1st Place – Connor Holman of Oklahoma City
2nd Place – Seth Dixon of Wayland Baptist (Texas)
1st Place – Connor Holman of Oklahoma City
2nd Place – Seth Dixon of Wayland Baptist (Texas)
1st Place – Cameron Young-Leggett of Ottawa University
2nd Place – Chase Vincent of Oklahoma City
1st Place – Easton Rendleman of Oklahoma City
2nd Place – Carson Savage of Ottawa University
1st Place – Benito Hernandez of Ottawa University
2nd Place – Dalton Sikes of Ottawa University
Leslie Bedford:
2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for a majority of the population including our family. Now moving into 2021, Ray has continued to move forward and give his team opportunities to train and compete. Being a second year program, he set high goals for himself, his coaching staff and wrestlers both athletically and academically. Having a goal of the highest graduation rate and being successful on the mat makes for a challenging job as not all exceptional wrestlers are able to stick to the responsibilities of a college education. Saying this, he holds himself, his coaching staff and his team to the high standard believing this molds them into successful adults.
And this weekend his Men’s team was able to do something that they will remember their entire lives….. they won the SAC Championship! Two TWU wrestlers earned 1st Place in their weight. Another lost a very close match and placed 2nd. One wrestler earning the SAC Freshman of the Year and the Wrestler of the Year. ALL TWU wrestlers that competed placed in the top 6. And the icing on the cake was that Ray was voted Coach of the Year! I am so extremely proud of him as I know being a coach is his purpose! Please pray for their safe travel home as they are heading back home from Kansas as I am typing this post.
So now it is time to watch the women shine next weekend! Not having a full team and having Lexie out injured will damper this experience. But I know that each of them will give 100% and have huge successes! And next year they are going to dominate with a full team!
So please take a moment to congratulate the Men’s team and cheer on the Women’s team! #GoRams

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Written by TexasWrestling