Piedmont Wrestling Wraps Up Impressive Season
The grind-- the six-day-a-week practices, the weight training, the ups and downs, the bumps, bruises and injuries, the wins and losses. All of that culminated in an impressive finish on the mat last weekend. Coach Erik Ford and his assistants, Joe Mitchell and Will Delk, have worked the last eight years to build the program one practice, one athlete, one match at a time to be a source of pride for our students and community. The program has progressively grown and had a number of state champions in the past, and all of those have contributed to the current success. Athletic Director, Layne Jones, sees the difference these coaches have made, "By developing positive and meaningful relationships with our kids, coaching them in the right manner, working cooperatively with parents and fellow staff members, positively leading our kids down a daily path and being a great role model are all things that have led to sustaining this success."
Piedmont Wrestling has a lot to be proud of:
- Suburban Conference Champions (for the third year)
- District Champions
- Dual State Semi-Finals (first time in program history)
- 11 Individual State Qualifiers (most ever in program history)
- 106 Jayce Jantz
- 113 Tabor McClure
- 120 Bo Hardy
- 126 Logan Chappell
- 132 Nathan Morse
- 138 Bryce DiGiacinto
- 145 Thomas Jenkins
- 152 Fisher Johnson
- 160 Braden Culp
- 195 Will Heindselman
- 220 Josh Heindselman
- Regional Team Runner-Up
- 5 State Placers
- 2 State Champions
- 195 Will Heindselman 1st Place
- 220 Josh Heindselman 1st Place
- 120 Bo Hardy 3rd Place
- 113 Tabor McClure 4th Place
- 152 Fisher Johnson 4th Place
- 4th Place Team Finish at State (highest in program history)
- Back to Back 5A Academic State Champions (3.64 GPA)
- Coach Ford Named Coach of the Year by the Central Oklahoma Officials Association
All the accolades certainly speak well of the wrestling program, but Coach Ford would rather talk about the commitment of his student athletes. In a recent interview he expressed great pride in these kids and how hard they work, the time they put in and the effort they give their school work. He recognizes the pressure his players are under is intense, and that more is expected of them than when he was a high school wrestler.
Ford and his coaching team are already looking ahead to an impressive future-- seven state qualifiers are returning and the prospects are looking good. The plan is to continue the success. As Coach Ford reflects on his tenure, he is thankful that eight years ago Piedmont Schools took a chance on a twenty-three year old with little coaching experience. He says, "I love the school system. The community, the kids, the administrators all make Piedmont the place to be." And he hopes that along the way, he's teaching kids to be better workers and better people.
Congratulations, Coach Erik Ford!