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February 16, 2014

UIL WRESTLING STATE TOURNAMENT — Huntsville's Dixon finishes second, four Hornets place in state wrestling tournament

GARLAND — The Huntsville High School wrestling team came so close to having a state champion.

Junior Marissa Dixon fell short of a gold medal, finishing as a runner-up in the Class 4A girls 138-pound weight class to Hereford’s Destiny Garza on Saturday at the UIL Wrestling State Tournament, which was held at the Garland ISD Curtis Cullwell Center.

That left the Hornets and Lady Hornets with four state placers after the two-day state tournament came to a close.

The girls team finished third in the standings with 67 points.

“David (Magness) represented the boys well. Marissa wrestling for a state championship is just huge,” Huntsville wrestling coach Dean Schaub said. “A lot of the girls stepped up. I like the direction the program is headed. Every year we’re outdoing ourselves. Next year, the girls are talking about winning a state championship and I think they can do it.”

Dixon spent much of the day waiting around for her championship bout before getting her opportunity Saturday night.

Once her match finally got started, the veteran Lady Hornet grappler struggled to get any kind of momentum against Garza from the get-go and found it difficult to elude the eventual state champion’s grasp. As a result, she lost 5-0 after all three rounds had completed.

“I really wanted to get first,” Dixon said. “I’ve got another year. I’m really excited for next year.”

Considering she went 1-2 at the 2013 state tournament and improved to a state silver medalist in 2014, Dixon says she’s going to use her final result as motivation going forward.

“I’m really going to go for first next year,” Dixon added. “The girl who won is a senior and moving on. I really want to get first next year.”

Christian Walker began the day wanting to improve on last year’s sixth-place finish and had yet another opportunity to do so.

With the goal of trying outdo her 2013 performance at the state tournament, she would need to pick up three straight victories in order to get to the third-place match.

Walker did just that and dispatched Lancaster’s Dejah Erskine, Raven Garcia of Corpus Christi Ray and Veterans Memorial’s Klarissa Blanco in the consolation second round, quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.

“Those three matches were not what I expected,” Walker said. “I’m used to wrestling freshmen or first-year wrestlers. Usually if I win, it’s an easy win. If I lose, I guess I didn’t put my all into it. At state, they’re all good.”

Walker finished just shy of a bronze state medal in the girls 185 weight class when she was pinned by Alexis Tarango of Amarillo.

“I really didn’t want my last match to be a loss,” Walker said. “That’s something I’m going to take with me until next season. I’m not going to have this chance again until state.”

David Magness’ day started with a free pass onto the consolation quarterfinals when his second-round opponent Chris Ringo of Humble didn’t make his weight and had to forfeit. That put him one step closer toward a state medal.

During his consolation semifinal and third-place bouts in the boys 120 class, it became apparent that his arm, which he previously injured a few weeks ago, was bothering him to the point that it affected his ability to compete.

He needed to take injury timeouts in the consolation semifinal and the bronze-medal match, but he soldiered on through the conclusion of the fifth-place match that he lost on an 8-4 decision to Boswell’s Carter Dorsett.

“David hurt his shoulder a couple of weeks ago. He toughened up through regionals with it,” Schaub said. “It’s a throbbing pain and our trainer got him a brace for it. He finished sixth and that’s great for him.

“I could see it was painful for him and his style of wrestling was inhibited a little because of the shoulder. That’s a test of his character. He’s a tough kid and he was going to keep going no matter what.”

During last year’s state tournament, Latresha Johnson was quickly eliminated in two matches. After winning the District 10-4A and Region III championships, she made sure to carry over her recent success to the state tourney.

Johnson (215) won her first two bouts of the tournament on Friday before falling in the semifinals. She had a rough day Saturday, losing in the consolation semifinals to Victoria West’s Jasmene Porter and then in again in the fifth-place match to Mona Wilson of Estacado and finished sixth.

“Last year, I didn’t place at all (at the state tournament),” Johnson said. “I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of everybody else, too.”

After splitting two matches in Friday’s competition, freshman Skylar Brock (148) picked up another victory in the second round of the consolation bracket, manufacturing a pin to stay alive.

Brock advanced to the consolation quarterfinals and the bout was tied at 3 in the second round before she was pinned by Noemi Rocha of Austin Johnson.

Junior Jordan Kader (102) had a tough time figuring out Rouse’s Elise Coleman in their second-round consolation match. She managed just one point in a 7-1 loss by decision.

Junior Jordan Johnson nearly forced a third round in his 160-pound second-round consolation matchup against The Colony’s Jacob Green, but he was pinned with 38 seconds to go in the second round.

Senior Toby Dierksheide (138) was looking to make a run at a medal in his final state wrestling tournament. However, for most of second-round consolation bout against El Bowie’s Josue Ortiz, Dierksheide couldn’t wriggle out of Ortiz’s grasp. Dierksheide was shut out in a 7-0 decision.

Sophomore Kori Beckham (110) advanced to Saturday’s rounds, but she was withheld due to an elbow injury.

Last year, the Huntsville wrestling team brought 11 grapplers to the state tournament and only had one (Walker) win more than one bout.

In 2014, Schaub had nine wrestlers still in the hunt for state medals and four placed in the top six.

“With the program that we have, most of the wrestlers are in their second year,” the coach said. “For a few of them to step up on that podium in their second year, that’s huge.

“We don’t graduate one girl, so we’re really excited.”

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Camp Good News will take place at Camp Allen in Navasota from June 8-13. It is free for girls and boys ages 10 to 15 who has an incarcerated parent. Camp director Ed Davis, a Huntsville native, is hoping to provide kids with an uplifting week of spiritual and physical activities.

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