More than wrestling


The Bulldog wrestlers pose after winning the Andover Kansas Invitational.

Hannah Prentice, Memorial Staff Writer

As the end of winter sports approaches, the Bulldog wrestling team had the opportunity to compete in the Andover Kansas Invitational and reach out to support a fellow Oklahoma wrestler who was recently injured at a meet in Colorado.

At the Invitational, the Memorial wrestling team took home first place, with six wrestlers making the finals and five of them winning. Senior Ben Parkhurst, who wrestled in the 170-pound weight bracket, contributed 28 points to the team, helping them win the trophy.

“Competing at Andover was a lot of fun especially because we were only able to take nine guys and still win a decent sized tournament,” Parkhurst said. “The whole experience was really cool for the team.”

Another Memorial wrestler who did extremely well at the meet was junior Peter Rolle, who won by pinning all five opponents in the 138-weight bracket.
“It was a lot of fun to do so well at a tournament against people I’ve never heard of,” Rolle said. “My main goal for the rest of the season is to place at state.”

Another person who contributed greatly to the team’s most recent success was the head coach, Albert White.

“We’ve wrestled a pretty tough schedule but I’m looking forward to making improvements to the program and growing as a team,” White said.

A few weeks before the Invitational, the team competed at a meet in Colorado and had the chance to visit Billy Simpson from Cushing High School who injured his neck. The Memorial wrestlers decided to visit Simpson to cheer him up.

“While visiting Simpson, we took him a shirt signed by the whole team and gave him someone to talk to from back home,” Parkhurst said.

Simpson’s injury was severe enough that doctors said he would not be able to wrestle again. Visiting him gave the Bulldog wrestlers the perspective to appreciate what they have.

“I think the team has learned that any day could be the last time you step on the mat and that Billy would give anything to wrestle again so we should seize the moment,” Parkhurst said.

Rolle agrees that visiting Simpson provided the team with the opportunity to bond.

“Going to the hospital brought us all closer together as a team,” Rolle said.

The Memorial wrestling team is expected to continue this success into the rest of their season.


Contact Hannah Prentice at [email protected]