McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

November 24, 2013

Marek signs with the Sooners

Southmoore grappler wanted to stay near home

MOORE — The key to any great college program is getting the local talent in their own backyard. It’s a problem the Oklahoma wrestling team has struggled with in the past.

However, that looks like that may have come to an end when Southmoore senior Nathan Marek signed a national letter of intent Nov. 13 to wrestle for the Sooners.

“One of the things coach (Mark) Cody told me he wanted to do was keep the good kids here,” Southmoore coach Greg George said. “If you look at OU, OSU and those type of programs, when they have won a national championship, they had at least half the team coming from Oklahoma. I think in Oklahoma you have to do that. You can’t let the good kids get away.”

However, the Sooners didn’t have to worry too much about losing Marek. The former 160-pound state champion was going to stay in the state no matter what. He just had to decide which state school he wanted to spend his next four years at.

“I wanted to stay in state the whole time,” Marek said. “So I didn’t really have a big old pot of offers. It was going to be OU or OSU. I have been looking forward to signing since I was little. Always wanted to go D-I. Never wanted to go anything lower than that.”

Marek said he looked at both programs and it was the Sooners who won out in the end.

“OU started contacting me in February,” Marek said. “The program they are building up is great. I like the environment, I like the guys, I like the coaches. They are all nice people. I just liked it a lot better than OSU. I grew up an OSU fan. So it was a little weird at first changing over. I figured out in March it was OU. It wasn’t a hard decision either. They were really outreaching for me.”

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