SIOUX CITY | Clement Oyadare is glad he gave wrestling a second chance and the Sioux City North wrestling team is happy about that decision as well.
The Sioux City North senior didn’t wrestle for the Stars as a sophomore but came back as a junior to qualify for state. The 170-pounder is off to a 29-4 start this season including a 5-0 record at the Dave Ewing Duals in Ankeny Saturday to earn the Journal’s Metro Athlete of the Week honors.
“I practiced my sophomore year right up to the first meet and then quit,” Oyadare said. “After the season and during the summer Coach (Kip) Wilcox talked to me about why I quit. He helped me through it … and he showed me that I should be participating in sports and involved in things because it is important. It shapes you and forms you.”
Standing 5-foot-11, the 10th-ranked Oyadare has a long body that may not show some of the muscularity of other 170-pound wrestlers in Class 3A, but opponents should underestimate his strength at their own risk.
“He is incredibly strong,” North Coach John Torno said. “I have him in weightlifting classes up at North High School and he is a great lifter for me. Clem is a lot stronger and quicker than people think he is. He is a very strong kid and now we are relying on some more moves.
“He can shoot and be just super quick. He probably has some of the best takedowns I have seen in quite a while. He is a kid that works pretty hard in the wrestling room trying to improve his skills and has a great work ethic.”
Combine his strength with his quickness and it is what has helped him to a 29-4 record to this point in his final season.
“I use my length in my setups to control my opponent’s legs and arms and just having a better position on them,” said the son of Billy and Sarah Oyadare of Sioux City. “It takes a lot more for me to be taken down or tripped and covered then a more compact guy.”
The 17-year-old owns wins over Class 2A third-ranked (160) Tate Battani of Ballard and has downed Cherokee's sixth-ranked Tyler Zeimen twice.
Oyadare went 1-2 at the state tournament last year as a first-time qualifier where he lost his first match. He rebounded with a major decision victory and fell out of the tournament only after dropping a three-overtime thriller. While some wrestlers would have been disappointed with the results, the Star has a refreshing view on his first trip to Wells Fargo Arena.
“It was fun, it was more fun than I thought it would be,” he said. “It was eye-opening and I learned a lot so I am going to be prepared (this time) and have a blast. I just love my team and I love the sport. When you have friends that come and watch you and come and hang with you and believe in you, it is really joyful.”
Oyadare didn’t begin wrestling until he was in seventh grade when he saw a sport that appealed to his nature.
“I am just naturally rough, I am just a guy that likes to wrestle a lot,” he said. “One of my teachers, Kip Wilcox, he told me try this sport out and I was interested and it stuck.”
He said as a freshman he still didn’t have a total grasp of the sport but he is making up for lost time now.
“Down in Ankeny on Saturday he just looked, better and better and better every match and he wrestled some tough competition,” Torno said. “He is working his technique and developing those skills.”
Oyadare has his mind set to return to state and he is only focused on that goal.
“Being confident and diligent and not worrying about who you are facing, but just working on all your stuff so you are ready for any situation,” he said.
Easton Graff, SB-L …. The junior beat his second top-ranked wrestler in as many weeks when he downed Don Bosco’s Gable Fox 2-1 for the 138-pound title at the Herb Irgens Invite Saturday.
Paige Hanson, East .... The senior hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to help the Black Raiders knock off Heelan 64-63.