Cleveland's Tyler Johnson – Blue Sky Bank's Athlete of the Month

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By Chad Waters

We’re past the halfway point for the month of January, which means high school wrestlers across the State of Oklahoma are preparing for the postseason.

One of those wrestlers who is looking to make a run this postseason is Cleveland wrestler Tyler Johnson. After placing fourth at his first state tournament last season the junior is shooting to become the Tigers’ latest state champion since George Henry (2004).

And according to coach Bryan Till, the team captain has all the tools to break the 15-year drought.

“[Tyler’s] a really good kid,” Till said. “He’s there every day…He always has a sense of urgency. He always wrestles tough, and I’ve never seen him really give anything up.”

That relentless tenacity is something instilled at an early age as Johnson grew up with the sport of wrestling with his dad, Kenny, who runs the little league program in Cleveland.

Tyler Johnson

Johnson credits the time he spent with his biggest influence as to what shaped him into how he is today. And with the experience of not only qualifying but placing at the state tournament last year, with a record of 14-6 this season, Johnson feels more than ready to make a deeper run this year.

“I’m a lot more calmed down heading into the postseason with a whole new mindset and with how I plan to execute my goals at state,” Johnson said.

Not only a standout on the mat, Johnson participates in National Honors Society. Being dedicated to wrestling year-round, Johnson already has plans to further his education while continuing to wrestle at the next level after he graduates in 2020.

As the regional tournament approaches on February 8th, Johnson is working toward dropping to his preferred weight of 160-pounds. And after the regional tournament, Till expects several other Tiger wrestlers to join Johnson at this year’s state tournament.

He is already joined by Cleveland teammates Nathan Dekker and Jacob Schwenker as candidates for the Oklahoma Shelter Insurance 2019 Mr. Wrestling Oklahoma Award, which is presented by VYPE Oklahoma.

“I expect to take at least five or six guys to state this year,” Till said. “And a state championship for Tyler is a realistic goal.”