Lelan Clark Memorial Award

Outstanding Wrestler

The Junior High Allstate Wrestling Tournament presents the Lelan Clark Memorial Award to outstanding wrestlers in the Junior High Girls and Boys Divisions and 6th & 7th Grade Girls and Boys Divisions. Outstanding Wrestlers are named according to the champion in each division, with the three fastest falls in the least amount of time.        

                   

Tournament organizers renamed the Tommy Parker Memorial Award to honor tournament co-founder Lelan Clark in 2023 upon his passing the previous year. Clark served 47 years as tournament director for the Junior High Allstate Wrestling Tournament. His dedication and love for the sport of wrestling fueled a desire to provide a true allstate wrestling tournament for junior high students across the state of Oklahoma.

 

Lelan’s remarkable 36-year coaching career began in 1967 when he worked as an assistant coach at John Marshall High School. From 1970 – 1972, he served as the head wrestling coach at U.S. Grant High School. Three years later, in 1975, Lelan helped form and organize the Junior High Allstate Wrestling Tournament.

 

That same year, he organized the Tinker YMCA Little League Wrestling Program, where wrestlers from various communities got their start. That little league program operated as a feeder program for Midwest City (MWC) High School wrestling programs. It was an era in which MWC High School found nationwide prominence and statewide dominance on the mat.

 

Lelan went on to direct all classes in the Oklahoma Secondary Association State High School Wrestling Tournament for the next 11 years until 1990. Lelan returned to coaching in 1988, taking a coaching position at Harrah Junior High that lasted seven years. He then transferred to Monroney Junior High to coach in 1996 until his retirement in 2004. Lelan came out of retirement in 2017 when the request came to coach Choctaw Junior High, where he spent his final two years coaching.

 

Throughout Lelan’s coaching career, he acquired several personal awards, and his teams won numerous State High School and Junior High State championships. But his real passion lay in his desire to teach and develop young men to believe in themselves and perform at their fullest potential. Lelan dedicated his life to the sport of wrestling. In 1999, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, recognized with the Lifetime Service to Wrestling award.

 

Lelan loved to share tournament stories with his friends and family about exciting matches between participants and champions. He believed wrestling taught a great work ethic, contributing to participants’ success later in life. His memory and stories live on in our hearts and the Lelan Clark Memorial Award for Outstanding Wrestlers.

The 2024 Tournament Will Be a 3-Day Tournament!

Due to the addition of Girls 6 & 7 grade division in 2023’s tournament, we had to extend the tournament to 3 days.