The tradition of Ada Cougars athletics is well grounded with success. The 2021-22 wrestling campaign was one for the record books as three wrestlers advanced to the state championships including Ada’s first-ever female state wrestling qualifier, EllaBabe Fisher who battled her way to reach the state meet in the girls 100-pound classification forced to “wrestle in” to the eight-person ladder as a fifth place regional finalist. An opportunity the Ada freshman would use to her advantage where she would gain the pinfall victory against Cara Leyses of Moore.
But, who is this record-setting girl known as EllaBabe? Off the mat, she’s the editor of the Ada yearbook and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes who admits she has a new found “love” by running cross-country.
VYPE asked the history making freshman more questions to learn more about her path to victory on the wrestling mat.
VYPE: What age did you start wrestling?
FISHER: I didn’t start wrestling until 7th grade. I attended a few practices when I was little, but I never competed, really just cheered my brother on.
VYPE: Who first got you into the sport of wrestling?
FISHER: My best friend, my big brother Dylan. I grew up watching him love the sport, and eventually, I fell in love too.
VYPE: Describe the “family love” for Ada wrestling?
FISHER: If we are talking about community love or school love it’s grown. We are so used to the stands being filled with our parents and maybe some relatives and that’s it. Zero in our student section and honestly a lot of empty seats. This year has been different. Our student section is full now, even our crowd has grown, I see a lot of our school staff there and involved. It really means a lot when people come to support us. We work hard, just as hard as the other sports. I notice when new people come, I notice who comes from the school, and I notice who truly supports us and I’m so grateful. I think offering free student entry has helped a lot and doing themes.
VYPE: Do you have a nickname? Why are you called this?
FISHER: I have a lot of nicknames, but none really have a particular reason well except one. Choco or Chocolatte – My Pepa called me that. He always teased me because I was really brown when I was a baby. My momma is Hispanic and Italian and my pa is Choctaw. So I was destined to have perfect skin coloring. My other nicknames are EB, EllaB, Little Fish, and a ton of others.
VYPE: Is there a special meaning behind your name “EllaBabe”?
FISHER: Yep, EllaBabe Lindley AKA Mama Babe! A legend out of Cordell, OK. She’s my Aunt Paige’s “Grandma”, basically Mama Babe for me too. She was proud of me and loved that I was her namesake.
VYPE: Describe your feelings about being the first female wrestler at Ada to make the state tournament?
FISHER: I don’t know that I had feelings about being the first. I think I was just proud to even qualify. The girls have Regionals a lot different than the boys. The boys are divided up by class and then split by West and East. The girls just had a West and East division. We compete with the best from every school in Oklahoma. I’m not even sure I’ve really had time to let that soak in. Wow.
VYPE: Describe the emotions after winning your first match by fall at state?
FISHER: First and foremost, THANK GOD! I was super nervous. As I stood there with the National Anthem playing I could feel my bottom lip quivering. It was definitely emotional for me. The team I was wrestling against has 2 Coaches I’ve grown to respect and love very much.
VYPE: Define yourself in three words. Which of the three is most important? Why?
FISHER: God-fearing, Driven and Giving. The only one that is important is God-Fearing! He provides me with grace to overcome everything that comes my way. When I think of Him I am humbled. God sent His Only son to die on the cross for us. I will always pray He continues to fill me with the fruit of His spirit as I continue to draw closer to Him. God deeply cares about us. He wants us to stay close to Him because His presence brings joy and abundant life. He aligns our heart with His and is always reminding us of his goodness and faithfulness. No matter what I face I will choose to place my hope in Him. Our job on Earth is to be His hands and feet. That’s the only thing I will strive the hardest to do. Spread His Word. So to anyone reading this, Choose Jesus! You will never influence the world by trying to be like it.
VYPE: How do you define success? On the mat and in life?
FISHER: Success on the mat is showing up every day and NEVER giving up. Going ready to work and learn. Not stopping even when you’re reaping those achievements. Staying Hungry and Humble.
Success in life, that’s easy, For, with God, nothing shall be impossible Luke 1:37
Now, let’s have a little fun…
VYPE: If you could sing with any of your favorite music groups, who would you choose? Why?
FISHER: I have an eclectic taste in music. So my choices might shock some people. No specific reasoning on why, I would just love it! Rod Stewart, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Sublime, Notorius BIG, Metallica, Hillsong, Lauren Daigle, Koe Wetzel, Lacrae, Adele, Earth Wind and Fire, Florence + the Machine, KISS, and the list could go on!
VYPE: What is your favorite color? Why?
FISHER: Xanadu – because my Pepa once told me that he loved the color of green because it was like an abundance of life all around you. It was also my Papa’s favorite color. I miss them both so much.
VYPE: Who would you choose as your dream date (current relationships excluded)?
FISHER: Max Theriot or Matthew Gray Gubler
The first chapter of her high school athletic success is now part of Ada sports history leaving everyone anxious to see what happens next for EllaBabe Fisher.