By Andrew Glover
OKLAHOMA CITY —
The Perry Maroons entered the second day in great position to reclaim the state championship trophy. Saturday at Jim Norick Arena it wouldn’t be that easy. It came down to David Thomas' match against Plainview’s Drake Martel in the 160-pound finals. With an escape in the ultimate tiebreaker, Thomas delivered and returned the state championship trophy to Perry.
“When David went into that match, I knew how hard he worked all season,” coach Ronnie Delk said. “For him to get that win is incredible.”
Thomas said he was confident entering the match, after facing him at regionals.
“We knew we could compete with him, we just had to find a takedown,” Thomas said. “We got it early in the first period and after that we knew we got it even with it getting tied up. In the ultimate tiebreaker, I got away and we won.”
Thomas said he knew what to do in the ultimate tiebreaker.
“I chose bottom,” Thomas said. “I knew I had 30 seconds to get away. My two goals this year was to win an individual state championship and a team state championship.”
Perry led Tonkawa 93-57 entering the consolation semifinals. Tonkawa was able to put a dent in the Maroon’s lead as Kyle Varley won Perry’s only consolation match as the Buccaneers outscored Perry 22.5 to 7.
Sophomore Dalton Revels fell to Tonkawa’s Owen Simpson by decision 4-2. Senior Austin Allen and junior Colton Looper lost their finals.
Looper said it was tough losing those matches but the team was helped by Friday’s performance.
“We put the championship away Friday with our victories,” Looper said. “We worked hard all year for this and trained harder than anybody.”
Allen said he was confident that Thomas would pull out the victory, adding it made his finals loss less disappointing.
“I work out with Thomas,” Allen said. “I know how tough he is. Last year I was disappointed with finishing second. This year it’s all right.”
Cushing’s Gage Stallworth avenged his regional loss to Blanchard’s Braden Stringer with a 3-2 decision victory.
“I was nervous going in,” Stallworth said. “I lost by two points at regionals. Coming off an injury, I knew I had to work twice as hard. ... Right when I got the takedown, I knew I just had to be strong on my feet.”
The Tigers finished as runners-up to state powerhouse Tuttle.
“We did an excellent job of competing,” Cushing coach Chad Short said. “The guys were hungry. It was really exciting coaching them.”
Pawnee junior Marlon Houston Jr. lost to Newkirk’s David Dowell by decision in the Class 3A 170-pound finals.
Delk said it feels great to bring back the trophy and is looking forward to repeating next year.
“It really hasn’t sunk in yet,” Delk said. “I’m more happier for my kids. I told them going in don’t let someone else take your medal. We got a great group coming back. I’m ready to go for number 40.”