Special to The Sun
The Edmond North wrestling team has been ranked as high as 39th in one national preseason ranking this year, and they received an honorable mention in another along with their No. 2 ranking in 6A in Oklahoma.
On Friday, the Huskies entered the Mid-America National wrestling tournament hosted by Tulsa Union High School. The 27-team field included Allen, Texas, ranked 11th in the nation and No. 1 in the state of Texas. Collinsville, ranked No. 14 in the nation and No. 1 in 5A in Oklahoma was the pre-tournament favorite with several No. 1 seeds. Tuttle, ranked 16th in the nation and first in 4A also was picked to challenge for the team title along with defending champion and host, Tulsa Union.
And then there was Edmond North, a team with a ton of potential, but no results thus far and without returning starters Derek White and Matt Durham in their lineup.
After the first session of wrestling, the Huskies found themselves in second place, just two points behind Allen, Texas, with Tuttle and Collinsville not far behind them. However, Collinsville pushed six wrestlers into the finals, Tuttle got five into the championship, and Allen and Edmond North each had four finalists. The Huskies did manage to place four wrestlers in the consolation bracket to hold onto second place going into the final round, but Collinsville had jumped to first place with a double-digit lead over North.
Cy Trindle finished in third place with a key victory over Gabe Torres of Allen.
“Cy wrestled well all weekend,” coach Andy Schneider said. “He came in as the No. 5 seed and only lost one match to eventual champion Davion Jefferies of Collinsville.”
Jordan Prince and Jordan Armstrong both placed fourth.
“This was Prince’s first high school tournament so I was very proud of his performance at this level and Jordan Armstrong wasn’t even seeded going into the tournament,” Schneider said. “He pinned the No. 6 seed and majored the No. 3 seed. He had his match won for third place but got caught in a funky move in the final seconds to get beat and place fourth.
Sophomore Bryan Creel also medaled, finishing in sixth place.
The first of North’s championship finalists was senior Josh Breece. Breece cruised to the finals with four pins and held on to beat Collinsville’s Ryan Heiden 4-2 to win the gold.
Collinsville won four of their six finals matches to put them ahead of North by 11 points. A win in the finals adds four team points and the Huskies had three remaining finalists, Lance, Joel, and Andrew Dixon. They would need wins in all three matches to pass Collinsville.
First up was Lance Dixon, wrestling against the favored Matt Meyer of Allen, Texas. After a scoreless first period, Lance scored a two-point reversal and went on to grind out a 3-0 win. Joel Dixon followed that up with a 4-2 win over Altus’ Sean Carson.
That set the stage for Andrew Dixon, making his third straight Mid-America Nationals finals appearance. Andrew placed second as a freshmen and first as a sophomore. Although Andrew was favored, he only led 1-0 after the first period. A second-period escape for one point and a third-period stalling point gave Andrew his second straight championship with a 3-0 win and also vaulted the Huskies to a final 223 team points to Collinsville’s 222. Allen, Texas finished in third with 215 points just two points ahead of Tuttle’s 213 total.
“I’m so proud of our guys’ performances,” Schneider said. “Winning by only one team point, there’s so many matches that I can look back on that made such a big difference in the team race. Even our guys that didn’t medal, still contributed by scoring team points. It was definitely an overall team effort. I also want to thank the parents and fans for making the trip to Tulsa. We had a great cheering section all weekend long.”
The Huskies close out their first semester schedule by travelling to the Kansas City Classic. More than 40 teams from the Midwest will be there including Allen, Collinsville, Tuttle and Perry.