Citizen becomes a ‘Cowboy’

Citizen becomes a ‘Cowboy’
Muscogee (Creek) citizen Reece Witcraft signed letter of intent with Oklahoma State University to continue his career with wrestling. (Submission)

Witcraft signs with Oklahoma State University

Darren DeLaune/Reporter

BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma — Muscogee (Creek) citizen Reece Witcraft never backs down from a challenge.

“My life has been about wrestling,” he said.

One day in third grade, a friend for show and tell came with his trophies, which intrigued Witcraft.

“He brought in all of his trophies and I told myself that I wanted some trophies too,” he said.

He said he was met with some resistance from his mother Lori Park before he could wrestle.

“I had to talk her into it,” laughed Witcraft.

Witcraft said he started taking wrestling seriously when he was in the eighth grade.

“I started seeing the hard work that I put in practice pay off,” he said. “With the hard work came great results.”

Witcraft competed in the 132-pound weight class for majority of his senior. He only dropped to the 126-pound weight class for one tournament.

“That was the Walsh Ironman tournament,” he said. “It is the toughest high school wrestling tournament in the nation.”

He also said every single opponent he wrestled was ranked. The turnout was what he wanted to achieve.

“I got first in the tournament,” Witcraft said.

He said his favorite thing to do when he is in a match is throwing his opponent.

“I like picking people up and putting them down,” Witcraft said.

Witcraft said he finished his senior year with 37 victories and only two defeats, which culminated with him being the state champion of his weight class.

He was also a state champion for his junior year.

He said he knew his last match was going to be very tough, not only is he wrestling against a top competitor he also had to deal with injuries.

“During the warmups before the finals, I got hurt again,” Witcraft said.

Witcraft said there were some bigger guys throwing themselves all over the mats and involved in a collision with him.

“The mats are all crowded from everyone trying to get ready,” he said. “So I stayed in the corner to try and not get injured when one of the guys fell on my ankle.”

Witcraft said he was close to not wrestling because of the pain until one of his old coaches came up to him and told him he was going to be wrestling.

“I taped it up pretty well and going into the final match I was more worried about my ankle,” he said. “I was worried that I would hurt it more during the match and they would stop it.”

He said in the final match he was very confident he could get the win against his opponent.

“It was the ankle that was on my mind, I knew I could get the win against my opponent,” Witcraft said.

Witcraft’s mom Lori Park enjoyed his wrestling career at the high school level. Now she said she could not be more proud in seeing her son at the collegiate level.

“It was amazing seeing him win back-to-back state championships,” she said. “I’m extremely proud of him and looking forward to him doing great things.”

Witcraft said he is taking his wrestling onto new heights as he signed with Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

He said it was OSU wrestling coach John Smith who drew him into the school.

“He is the best,” Witcraft said. “The people that are in and around my weight class are really good. It only benefits me.”

Park said there were other universities looking at him, but he was set as soon as OSU showed interest.

“As soon as OSU started calling he said that is where he wanted to go,” she said.

Witcraft said with the All-Americans around him he wants to learn as much as he can from the best.

“I know when I make my major leaps in wrestling it is only because I wrestle someone who is better than me,” he said. “I know the bumps and bruises and getting beat will pay off. Every single day I will get better and better and then I will beat them.”

Witcraft has a younger brother, Parker, and both him and Park think he is going to do great wrestling as well.

“He is going to do very well,” Park said. “I am very proud of both of them and what they have done.”

Witcraft is the son of Park and Steven Witcraft. His clan is Tiger.

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