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January 31, 2013

Ford continues legacy of Chickasha wrestling

— Erik Ford and Matt Surber will be standing on opposite sides of the mat Thursday night, Ford as the head coach of the Piedmont wrestling team, and Surber as the head coach of Tuttle.

It was only a matter of timing that kept the two former Chickasha High School wrestlers from being on the same team.

Almost a Tiger

Just a few years ago, Surber asked Ford if he wanted to join his staff as an assistant coach at one of the most successful programs in the state.

Ford had just finished his first year as head coach at Piedmont, and it was his commitment to that school that is the reason he is a Wildcat instead of a Tiger.

Ford felt like he needed to see his commitment to Piedmont through. It has worked out well for him, but what if the opportunity had presented itself just a year earlier?

"When I was first looking for a job three years ago, there weren't any jobs going around," Ford said. "And I don't believe [Tuttle] had one. If they did, I probably would have taken it at the time.

"The past couple of years he's asked me to be his assistant, but I'm comfortable where I'm at, enjoying what I'm doing, and don't want to give it up just yet," Ford said.

Ford admits that he's thought about what it would be like to be a part of the Tuttle wrestling program. He also said Surber has asked him about joining Tuttle after each of his first two years at Piedmont.

"You always think about it," Ford said. "It'd sure be a lot of fun to get a state tournament ring almost every year. But it's just one of those things, I feel like I've made a commitment to these kids and this group, and I want to see it through."

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