Catoosa Wrestling Q&A with Mike Clevenger – Presented by Tulsa Bone & Joint

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By Chance Waters 

Now that Dual State is out of the way, high school wrestlers across the State of Oklahoma are preparing for the regional tournament.

One of those wrestlers who is looking to make a run this postseason is Catoosa wrestler Jaylon Otero. And according to coach Mike Clevenger, the 138-pound junior has all the tools to break the nearly 10-drought of individual state champions in Catoosa.

“[Jaylon’s] just hard-nosed,” Clevenger said. “He has good technique, but he wins because he works hard. He’s got a deep gas tank and can go forever, which is why he wins a lot of close matches.”

RC-Catoosa Varsity Wrestling Program

Otero finished third at the state tournament his freshman and sophomore seasons, losing a tough 3-2 decision in the semifinals last year.

Now as Clevenger’s team prepares to host the Class 4A East Regional, Otero look to put forth the effort that saw him become a regional champion last season.

As the No. 3 seed at 132 pounds, Otero reached the final with a tough 3-2 semifinal decision over No. 2 seed Cade Waltman of Fort Gibson, then had to go against No. 1 seed Zach Myles of Cleveland. Otero and Myles pushed each other to the limit in a back-and-forth, hard-fought battle that stretched into the third overtime period before Otero emerged with a 6-5 victory in the bout of the night.

Otero, who also won a Regional title at 106-pounds as a freshman, is focused on winning a third regional title and becoming a state champion the following week.

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A favorite to join Otero as a regional champion and state placer is the Indians lone senior, Abel Perez (152 lbs.).

Overall, Catoosa qualified five wrestlers for the state tournament, but only return two qualifiers (Otero and Perez).

Now in his 14th season coaching at Catoosa, first as a head coach, Clevenger is relying on a young core of starting freshman and sophomores to improve upon a team that finished four points short of a top-five finish at state last season.

Clevenger said he has six guys who can qualify for the state tournament this year, with one of them being his freshman nephew, Guy Clevenger.

“He is probably in the toughest weight in the class at 106,” Clevenger said. “But, he’s a two-time junior high state champion, so we’re trying to get him on the podium this year.”