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Oklahoma State Wrestling

Oklahoma State and Iowa Bring Intensity to Bout at the Ballpark

October 12, 2021

STILLWATER – Anybody that has ever graced the atmosphere of Oklahoma State vs. Iowa in wrestling whether they saw it in Gallagher-Iba Arena on the Cowboys campus in Stillwater or in Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City knows this is one of the premier collegiate sporting events and rivalries of all-time. Maybe you were part of the record crowd that watched the Grapple on the Gridiron when Iowa head coach Tom Brands asked Oklahoma State wrestling legend and all-time winningest head coach John Smith to bring his Cowboys to wrestlers to Iowa prior to a Hawkeyes football game and wrestle inside Kinnick Stadium. Now, Smith has asked Brands to bring his NCAA defending champion team to Arlington, Texas to wrestle the Cowboys in the Bout in the Ballpark at Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers. The event will be at 6:30 p.m. on February 12.

Sam Janicki
Tom Brands of Iowa is an emotional coach.

Watching the Brands brothers coach against John Smith may be worth the price of admission as it is always intense and sometimes explosive when Tom and his brother, Iowa associate head coach Terry Brands, coach against Smith. They are rivals and ultra-competitive when coaching, but partners in working to grow their sport with an event like this.

“This is a no-brainer for us. It’s Oklahoma State. It’s outside the box,” said Brands. “It’s international and I know it will be done right. We need to be ready to go.”

The wrestling double dip will also feature the USA National Team vs. the National Team from Iran.

Pokes Report
Fix with the win in a Bedlam match.

As far as the dual with the Cowboys and the Hawkeyes, the 133-pound match will feature top-ranked Daton Fix against fourth-ranked Austin DeSanto in a rematch of Fix NCAA semifinal win last season. Fix is 2-0 against DeSanto. Fix recently won the silver medal at the 2021 World Championships in freestyle at 61 kilograms.

The Cowboys will also be favored at 197-pounds where wrestling biggest new celebrity and well-known competitor A.J. Ferrari is ranked No. 1 and will go against Iowa’s No. 3-ranked Jacob Warner. Ferrari beat the three-time All-American Warner 3-2 in the NCAA quarterfinals last season on his way to the NCAA championship as a freshman.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Ferrari is college wrestling’s biggest star. 

“We will have to improve in order to beat Iowa,” Smith said in answering my question about how his team looks so far. “We will have a deep team and I think we’ll have two or three wrestlers at every weight. I hope by February we will have our best team on the mat.”

Iowa will have favored wrestlers in marquee match-ups at 157-pounds where No. 6 Kaleb Young will look to extend his 2-1 series lead over the Cowboys Wyatt Sheets. Sheets is preseason ranked No. 14 and Young beat him 3-2 in the NCAA seventh-place match last season. No. 2 Alex Marinelli of Iowa is a three-time All-American and Big Ten champion that knocked off Oklahoma State No. 6 Travis Wittlake at 165-pounds in their only meeting in a dual match. Wittlake earned All-American honors with a fourth at last season’s NCAA Championships.

“The Oklahoma State-Iowa series is one of the best things the sport of wrestling has to offer,” Smith said at a press conference at Globe Life Field on Tuesday, Oct. 12. “The history of both programs speaks for itself, and it’s always matched by the intensity on the mat. I’m excited to show this rivalry to a new part of the country and help grow our sport in the process. The chance to wrestle at a first-class facility like Globe Life Field is a great opportunity for our program and our fans. We can’t wait to get to Arlington and are looking forward to wrestling in what will be a great, one-of-a kind atmosphere.”

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Oklahoma State and Iowa Bring Intensity to Bout at the Ballpark

417 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 13 days ago by Si
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Going to be a really cool announcement.
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Great article
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