SHAWNEE – Ronnie Delk was visibly frustrated Saturday night inside the Firelake Arena.
His Perry High wrestling team earned the result it wanted, but didn’t do it in the manner Delk desired.
The Maroons won their 11th-straight Class 3A Dual State championship by beating Marlow 38-27. It was the 20th Dual State title in school history.
However, the final dual of the weekend was much closer than Delk wanted. Perry won each of its two previous duals with a score of 72-9, but struggled to put Marlow away until the final few matches.
“It’s good for the community and the team to win dual state,” Delk said. “It wasn’t pretty. Definitely not pleased with that effort at all. We are way better than that. It’s kind of hard right now coming straight off that. We’ve got a state champ on his back and we have to go put him down, and then we get pinned. It’s hard to enjoy right now. I will later, probably.”
Teaguen Wilson, who won his 285-pound match by fall in 1 minute and 40 seconds, was happy about the victory, but also knows it was closer than expected.
“It means a lot to carry on the tradition, but we have a lot to work on,” Wilson said. “It shouldn’t have been that close. We have to work a lot harder.”
Perry actually trailed after the third match of the dual – at 145 pounds. Joshua Kime was pinned in the third round by Marlow’s Kobey Kizarr, giving Marlow a 12-6 advantage following Jordan Taylor’s second period pin of Perry’s Trevor Stringer at 138 pounds.
Kohl Witter helped get Perry three more team points with a 2-1 win over Matt Branum at 152 pounds. However, Perry’s Hadyn Redus lost 4-3 to Tyler Lavey in the next match at 160 pounds. Redus was called for a third caution late in the third period, awarding Lavey one point before Lavey earned an escape seconds later for the win.
“You don’t expect one of your state champs to go out and get beat on caution points, and he did,” Delk said. “That’s a mental error right there. Good win by a sophomore Kohl Witter, though, to come back and get a win. I knew we were going to take some lumps, but still you want to gut it out.”
Redus’ loss gave Marlow a 15-9 lead over the Maroons. Perry gained momentum back, which changed the tide of the match, as it won six of the next seven matches.
At 170 pounds, Jace Burdick beat Kyle Wilson by a score of 5-2. In the next match, Kohl Owen gave Perry a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Owen pinned Kale Hunt in just 29 seconds, giving Perry an 18-15 advantage.
“Jace went out and wrestled 5-2 to a kid he should have pinned,” Delk said. “He knows it. But it’s an easy fix.”
Brandon Speikers won by major decision, 9-1, at 195 pounds before Wilson pinned Cody Huber in the first round to close out the heavyweights. Marlow’s Brennen Morgan beat Perry’s Bayden Blocker 6-4 at 220 pounds.
“I had Coach Delk help get my hyped up before the match,” Wilson said. “That really helped. I was tired of hearing (Marlow) yell, and I wanted our fans to get happy, so I felt like I had to go do something big for our team.”
Back at 106 pounds, Gabe Valencia led Marlow’s Case Rich before pinning him in the second period. Ryan Smith locked up the Maroons’ victory at 113 pounds. Smith won by major decision, 9-0, to seal the Perry Dual State title with just two matches remaining.
Marlow won the final matches. Kyle Davis beat Perry’s Logan Smith 5-3, and Anthony Orum pinned Perry’s Logan Patton in the third period to close out the dual.
Perry’s Dylan Avery won the opening match of the dual. He pinned Cheyenne Davis in 21 seconds.
There was no immediate celebration by the Maroons. They got the result they wanted, but know there is much work to be done before regionals and state the next two weekends.
“We’re going to work a lot harder,” Wilson said. “I think regionals and state won’t be as close.”
“I just told them, ‘If that doesn’t motivate you to get better and push yourself, I don’t know what will,’” Delk said. “It shouldn’t have been that close. But that’s why it’s dual state. It’s fun.”