J.T. Stambeck: Norman North Driven Athlete of the Month – presented by Landers Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Noman


Written by John Tranchina

The new wrestling season is underway and J.T. Stambeck has gotten off to a good start.

The Norman North junior won the 170-pound bracket at the Mid-America Nationals tournament in Enid on Dec. 9, defeating Nathan Dotson of Arlington (TX) Martin by fall in 1:26 in the final. That has him primed to have a strong year.

“The season so far, it’s gone really well,” Stambeck said. “I ended up going 6-0 at Enid and I think I took out a state champ from Kansas and one from Texas. And just going into the next year, just staying with it. It’s a long season, so you just got to keep going through it. You got to pace yourself, the season itself is a grind, but the second half of the season is fun. That’s when you get into the big matches and it’s really exciting.”

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Stambeck also notes that the most exciting part is also the most difficult to keep up with schoolwork.

“Going into second semester, it gets hard because we’re gone so much (traveling to tournaments and dual meets),” he said. “But definitely grades are kind of like first priority, because you’re going to have your academics way after you’re done with athletics, so grades are more of a top priority.

Stambeck, who went 21-7 last year and placed fifth in 152 pounds at the Class 6A East Regional, just missing out on qualifying for the state tournament, has enjoyed the transition to a new coaching staff at Norman North, led by Jimmy Filippo.

“It’s an adjustment, but it’s a good one. I like our coaches a lot,” Stambeck said. “I think we’ve got the best coaching staff in the state, with Coach Filippo, Coach Turner and Coach DeAngelis. They all bring a different aspect of wrestling into the room.”