It only took a few minutes watching the Lawton High-MacArthur game to realize there were some special athletes on the field and three of them felt like they may have had an edge on the others for one simple reason they are standout wrestlers who have learned to play with a tough, warrior-like attitude.
And, because wrestling takes exceptional strength and footwork, those things also help make one a better football player.
One of those wrestlers was MacArthur quarterback Ricky McCarty who scrambled out of trouble often with his running ability and also passed for more than 150 yards while trying to rally his team.
But, the rally came up short because the LHS defense had guys making plays all over the field, including linebacker Taylor Wattengbarger and safety George Ankamah, both talented wrestlers themselves.
Tuesday we sat down with Ankamah and talked about how the two sports work together to make an athlete better.
"The fact that you have to be so strong to wrestle is also a big asset in football," the senior safety said. "And, footwork is so important in wrestling that it helps you improve your balance. Guys are trying to throw you and you have to learn to keep your feet under you and not get thrown. That is also big in football. When you break on the ball, every step is important, so you have to do things right."
But the mental part is even more important.
"In wrestling you are out there by yourself, so you have to think for yourself and it's up to you to get the job done," he said. "As a safety in football, it's similar because you're back there and if you don't make the play they might score. In my case, at strong safety, my job is to provide run support and that's when you come up, break down and get good position and then drive thru the runner. You have to hit them hard because there are some good backs around."