And so the Chickasha coaching tree continues to grow. In the Chickasha Invitational Tournament Jan. 25-26, five of the top six teams were coached by former Chickasha High School wrestlers. Joining Randle, Surber and Ford were Greg George of Southmoore and Mark Peck of Westmoore.
The Chickasha wrestling program has never been known for having dominant teams, but the individuals that have come out of the program have impacted wrestling in Oklahoma.
"Chickasha's not really known as a hot bed of wrestling as far as top-notch teams year-in and year-out, but they've always had a lot of top-notch individuals," Surber said. "I'm proud to say I was a state champion there, and we've had a lot of kids that have come on since then that have been state champs or that are currently wrestling in college, or coaching. It's neat for the heritage of the sport in Chickasha."
Randle was Chickasha's first state champion in 1985, and has coached numerous individual state champions at Chickasha, with the chance to get a few more this season. Surber coaches a nationally-ranked program that has won three Dual State and four state tournament championships in a row.
Ford appears to be well on his way to following the success of his predecessors.
"At the end of the day, there aren't two guys that I would rather compete against," Ford said of Randle and Surber. "I know what they stand for, and what they bring to the table. Getting the opportunity to coach at the opposite end of those guys is an honor for me."
Beating one of them for a Dual State title would be an even greater honor.
"That's what we're working for," Ford said. "We're going to go down there and give them a go. Sure would be a lot of fun to compete against Coach Surber in a match like that."