The Edmond Sun

March 2, 2014

Edmond North takes second at state wrestling championships

Huskies crown 4 individual champs; Deer Creek takes home a pair of gold medals

Scott Wanish
The Edmond Sun

OKLA. CITY — The Edmond North Huskies did not defend their 2013 state title, but North crowned four individual state champions — Derek White and all three Dixon brothers in Andrew, Lance and Joel — Saturday night inside State Fair Arena.

Stillwater took home the gold hardware with 143 points and North came in as state runner-up with 122 points. Broken Arrow was third (104), Edmond Memorial 22nd and Edmond Santa Fe failed to muster points.

In Class 5A, Deer Creek landed in fifth as Collinsville (148) and Lawton MacArthur (107) finished 1-2. Individually, the Antlers had a pair of gold-medal champions in Tanner Cole and Cole Pacheco, a three-time state champion.

The Dixons and White all won individual state crowns for the second consecutive year.

“We started today 0-4, but finished 4-0,” Edmond North head coach Andy Schneider said. “Those that won it; I couldn’t be more happy for them — I’m really going to miss coaching them.

“I don’t know anybody in the nation who has four state champions in the last four weights.”

Though Stillwater dethroned the Huskies from the Class 6A state champion pedestal, the Pioneers had five move-ins score at least 70 points while the North wrestlers are homegrown.

“I got to watch them (The Dixon triplets and White) in the fourth grade and I will miss them. They are each individuals; it is neat to know them.”

As for being triplets, each of the Dixons also are the same size despite Joel competing at 182 pounds, Lance at 220 and Andrew at 285. Each of the brothers’ median weight is 190.

So, some unselfishness had to come between the Dixons and White, who wrestles at 195 pounds to see who would get on the mat at what weight.

“White, and all three Dixons sat down and worked it out,” Schneider stated. “They have been doing it since they were freshmen and I never had to have any ranking matches.

“Last year, Andrew went to 215 from 171 so Joel could get in at 171.”

The munificence paid off in the final four weights two years running as White and the Dixons repeated as individual state champions.

“God is in control of the results,” Schneider said. “I’ll be honest; they wanted to win the (team) state championship but they put the effort in and took care of what they needed to.”

On Saturday, Joel weighed in at 183.4 and was eligible at 182 due to a three-pound allowance, Lance came in at 191 (surrendering nearly 40 pounds at 220) and Andrew could have given up as much as 85 pounds at 285 as he tipped the scales at a meager 200 in the heavyweight division. He had to down bottles of Gatorade just to clear the minimum 198 to be able to grapple in the category.

“Joel pulls weight easy and I wrestle the bigger guys better,” Andrew Dixon said of the strategy behind the four weights.

Though Andrew Dixon relinquished a massive amount of weight, the look in Korey Walker’s eyes of Midwest City was that of an underdog as he fought and squeezed as hard as he could, but Dixon (40-2) recorded a takedown with 1:19 left in the opening period. Andrew allowed Walker (23-8) to escape twice and built a 6-2 lead at the end of the second period while cruising on home for a 7-2 state championship decision.

In the last meeting, Andrew stuck Walker.

“I knew he was going to try and do something big,” Dixon said. “I had him almost turned once but didn’t want to take any chances.”

Lance Dixon (38-3) began his duel off calmly and steadily turned up the aggression on Sand Springs’ Kyle Childers (29-4) at 220.

With just eight ticks to go in the second, Lance snatched a 3-0 lead and with 1:37 remaining in regulation, Dixon’s assailment reached its pinnacle with a firm takedown en route to a 5-1 gold-medal decision.

“My main goal was to get a good feel for it (the match),” Lance stated after his victory. “I was disappointed in my performance after the first period ... I just wanted to get aggressive.”

 White is the lone undefeated North wrestler, finishing his illustrious career at Edmond North with a 40-0 mark. He will compete collegiately at the University of Nebraska.

White loves to go after the legs and he racked up the points on Tulsa Union’s Chance Wenglewski (29-9). The Husky got up 2-0 with 1:26 left in the first with a single-leg and throughout the match he continued to go after the legs hard.

After Wenglewski was out of breath from being taken down so many times, White had finished off the Redskin with a dominating 26-10 technical fall as the second-period buzzer sounded.

“I knew we weren’t in the team race so I was just having fun knowing I’m going to win,” White said.

At 182, Joel Dixon led 2-1 after the first period and in the late going, he extended his strong arms to keep Stillwater’s Jordan Dieringer at bay and held on for a 3-1 decision.

“Smart,” Joel said smiling while pointing to the right side of his brain after the conquest while being safe initiating the strong-armed tactic.

“It feels amazing to win it with them (his two brothers who shared the same womb). It is a blessing. Winning just one state championship is hard enough, but all three winning is amazing.”

Joel ended his senior year 34-4 with a 6A title and Dieringer had to settle for silver at 38-6. All three Dixons will wrestle at the University of Oklahoma in the fall.

Placing second for North were Paxton Rosen at 106 and Zach Walton at 160.

Pacheco wins third straight crown

Deer Creek’s Pacheco came out of football with an injury and in the semifinals at regionals, he thought his ACL was torn again.

But that did not stop the 182-pounder, who dug into Tulsa Kelley’s Brice Inbody (36-3) for a 3-0 decision for state title No. 3.

“I just kind of was on a mission,” Pacheco said after hitting the trifecta Saturday. “I tweaked it (ACL at regionals) pretty good, but it was too late in the year to stop.”

Pacheco, a 24-1 senior, was in a scoreless match until the final minute when he garnered a 3-0 cushion. When he put Inbody on his belly, it was over as the Antler toyed with his opponent waiting for the clock to melt.

Pacheco even got on Inbody’s back and drove both knees into his adversary’s glutes and came away with the 3-0 decison.

“That kid’s (Inbody’s) game plan was to try and keep it close,” Deer Creek head coach Andy Howington said. “He was trying to keep it close and maybe try to win it in overtime.

“Cole and Nolan Boyd are the only three-time state champions at Deer Creek.

“Cole had to ice down his knee after every match and it always swelled up.

“That’s one (wrestler) you just don’t replace.”

In the regional championship, Pacheco thrashed Inbody by an 8-1 count and it was the first time of the year the Tulsa Kelley product has been taken down.

The Antlers’ other state champ is freshman Tanner Cole in the 106-pound slot at 24-4.

Cole lost 2-1 to Collinsville’s Nate Keim (37-7) in the regional championship just a week earlier, but the gritty Deer Creek grappler turned the tables on Keim for a 2-1 state crown.

“I’ve been telling him all week this is what matters,” Howington said. “Last week we got beat and we changed things up.

“He (Keim) controlled our hands last time and we put in a little more movement. We made the adjustments and came out on top.

“He (Cole) might be a little 106-pounder, but he has the biggest heart. He doesn’t care who he is wrestling.”

With just three seconds left, Cole got free for the dramatic 2-1 win.

“I’m so excited,” Cole said. “He just outmuscled me; he is so much bigger.”

Antler Dayton West grabbed a fourth-place finish at 113.