Cowboy Wrestlers Open Home Season With Bedlam

It doesn't happen often but the Oklahoma State home wrestling schedule starts at 2 p.m. Sunday with Bedlam. The Cowboys, who are working on a long unbeaten streak in the series they have dominated, have been on the road in tournaments most recently in Albany, N.Y., where they defeated Binghamton, Clarion, Hofstra and American in four dual matches.

"It's a nice thing when you're winning and that's what we did," Cowboy head coach John Smith said of the clean sweep in the Brute Duals event in Albany, N.Y. "We had some good matches and we wrestled pretty well. We had a few disappointments but overall it was a good trip for us."

The closest call came in a 20-16 win over a talented Hofstra team. The Cowboys lost at 125 pounds with freshman Ben Ashmore and then a pair of returning All-Americans -- Coleman Scott at 133 and Nathan Morgan at 141 -- were beaten. Scott was pinned. The Cowboys were down 12-0.

"We sent out a freshman (Quinten Fuentes) at 149 and somewhere, when things are going like that, somebody has to do something quick or you're going to find yourself on the losing side of the match," said Smith. "Quinten went out in a tight match in the second period that was tied up and ended up stretching the score out to a major decision by the end of the third period, and that was just the push we needed to win five matches from that point forward."

Sunday in Bedlam it is new faces like Fuentes, 184-pounder Cody Hill, and 197-pounder Clayton Foster who are expected to play huge roles. The Cowboys also have a fifth-year senior transfer in Jake Dieffenbach, a former NAIA champion, who will man the lineup at 165 pounds.

"He's just a mature kid, very polite young man," said Smith of Dieffenbach. "He has his degree from Lindenwood and is working on a master's degree here at Oklahoma State. He's been around the block, and has wrestled against Division I wrestlers in open tournaments and he wants to give it a shot.

"I'm really pleased with him, but he's been banged up a little bit," added Smith on Dieffenbach. "He busted his nose up and took on about 13 stitches early in the week and he is wearing a facemask right now. Nothing is going to keep him out of Bedlam."

Now those young and old new faces will get their first taste of Bedlam where the expectations on the OSU side are very simple.

"My expectations is we better be winning," said Smith of the Bedlam dual on Sunday. "It's always a little more important and anybody that says anything different is wrong. This is a match that you do want to win. You put a little more into it during the week. I want our wrestlers to remember that you will remember this match when you are 40 (years old), so you want good memories from Bedlam and the only way to do that is to go win.

"My concerns is that we have a lot of new faces in the lineup," continued Smith. "Bedlam is always throwing curve balls and things happen that you didn't plan on happening. We just have to make usre that those unexpected things are working in our favor."

The 21st-ranked Sooner will be lead by veterans Will Rowe at 149 pounds and sixth-year wrestler Joel Flaggert at 197. Oklahoma has promising new faces of their own at 141 pounds and heavyweight. However, the Sooners' role in the series is expected to be the same, as is the Cowboys.

"It is a great role to be in when you've dominated," finished Smith. "You have to remember those teams before you and then go to the mat and do your part."

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