Gutierrez makes All-State team
Add another honor to the long list of the Clinton wrestling program’s accomplishments, with senior heavyweight wrestler Ruben Gutierrez being named to the Oklahoma Coaches Association (OCA) All-State Small West Team Tuesday.
Gutierrez is the 20th all-stater in school history and will be the seventh consecutive wrestler to represent Clinton at all-state. Clinton head wrestling coach Rob Pitman said it’s a great honor for Gutierrez, but it’s also one that extends to Clinton’s program as well.
“It’s exciting for the program anytime you see the town of Clinton getting statewide recognition,” he said. “It’s always a good thing. It shows what work he (Gutierrez) has put in. He is a very gifted individual and could’ve been a state champion. He was one of the best wrestlers in the state.
“It’s exciting to see that for him. It’s something that he gets to hold with him for the rest of his life. Whatever his future is, it’s something he can cherish and tell his kids. It’s exciting, and he gets the credit.”
Gutierrez wrapped up a championship-caliber career by placing third at the state tournament last month. He went 4-1 in the heavyweight bracket to place. The third-place finish was impressive considering he had to win a win-or-go-home, fifth-place match at regionals just to make the state tournament.
After winning his wrestle-in match, he finished out his time at Clinton as the program’s 67th state placer. He ended the 2018-2019 season with a record of 33-7.
In total, Gutierrez logged a two-year varsity record of 60-17 (77.9 win percentage), 35 of the wins came via pin. He earned countless tournament trophies and honors in helping Clinton become a mainstay in the team rankings.
“Winning that many matches at any weight is difficult to do,” Pitman said. “Being able to do that when you’re wrestling the biggest and strongest kids in the state, is a testament to him. It’s hard for a coach to sometimes find a heavyweight wrestler and win that many matches for you.
“He’ll definitely be missed next year, but it’s just like we did this year, we’ll find somebody who’ll step up and win matches at that position. It was a great way for him to cap off his senior season.”
The All-State duals will take place at 7 p.m. July 24 at Sand Springs High School. Gutierrez and the small west team will be coached by Anadarko’s Craig Pruitt, according to The Oklahoman.