LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — For the 11th time the Arkansas State Wrestling tournament is upon us and it’s bigger than ever growing from 489 in 2018 to 536 to 2019

Maumelle features a pair of 2-time state champions. Both Dregen Smith and Jacob Beene will be going for their third straight title this weekend.

“Grinding basically, mental toughness is the key. It’s a mental toughness sport.” Beene believes it’s all about preparation and diet. “I think a lot of wrestling is cutting weight, losing weight. It’s hard and losing weight is very hard if you’re not dedicated.”

Catholic’s Jacob Roset was on the doorstep of a state title in 2018, now the Senior believes his drive will bring him home championship this weekend.

“I’d probably say my drive, every wrestler needs something to motivate them to wrestle. So I’d say I found what I need.”

For the first time in the state tournament there will be three division. 1-4A, 5A, and 6A. Searcy head coach Jerry Evans has seven first seeded wrestlers heading into the tournament and looks to bring home the 5A crown.

“We’ve got kids that have gone back and forth. You know our kids beat Lakeside twice and they beat our kids twice. It’s going to come down to that finals match and really it’s going to come down to that heavyweight match at the end of the day to find out who’s going to win a state championship in my opinion.”