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Having won five of the past six possible state titles, three duals and two UIL, Allen wrestling is used to racking up achievements.
But Saturday was historic.
The Eagles blitzed through the 16-team bracket at Cedar Park Vista Ridge High School and became the first wrestling team to win four straight Texas Dual State Championships.
“It’s great to do something that has never been done,” said Jerry Best, Allen head coach. “And state championships don’t just fall off trees. The kids wrestled well, did exactly what they needed to and they deserve all the accolades they are receiving because they have put in a lot of time and worked very hard for this.”
In doing something that has never been done, Allen did exactly what it always does.
The teams were split into four, four-team pools with the winner of each pod advancing to the semifinals. The Eagles were in Pool A along with El Paso Hanks, Klein and Austin Bowie.
Allen opened the competition Saturday with a 48-21 win over Hanks, resting a few starters in the process.
“We moved a couple of guys in and out because we new pacing was going to be important on a day when we had to wrestle five matches,” Best said. “We are fortunate to have depth on our team and that really paid off in this meet.”
The Eagles could rotate despite being without sophomore 138-pound standout Jack Bass, who is injured.
Allen completed pool play with a 66-8 win over Klein and 57-15 triumph against Bowie. The latter victory may have been more notable for a loss that occurred during the dual as junior Oliver Pierce moved up from 160 to 170 and was defeated by Bowie’s Brian Dorsey, 3-2. Pierce stepped in for junior Matt Meyer, who moved up to 182.
“Oliver didn’t take that result well and he shouldn’t have,” Best said. “Oliver didn’t get the job done, but he is a great competitor, so he will learn from this and get better.”
By winning Pool A, Allen advanced to the semifinals against El Paso Franklin.
The Eagles continued their winning ways there with the smaller grapplers stepping up in a 43-16 victory. Gabe Torres beat an opponent ranked top-6 in the state at 106 and junior Mason Smout dropped a 3-2 decision to the No. 4-ranked grappler at 120.
“We wrestled a lot of solid matches (against Franklin),” Best said. “And heading into the finals we felt good, felt like if we wrestled up to our ability that we could beat anyone in the state.”
A familiar foe awaited No. 1 Allen in the finals as No. 2 Flower Mound advanced to the championship as well to set up a rematch of last year’s title bout.
The years changed, but the results didn’t as the Eagles reigned supreme once more.
The Jaguars, however, did represent the closest match of the dual tournament for the Eagles with Allen picking up a 43-17 victory.
“We definitely have a rivalry with Flower Mound, especially considering a lot of our kids grew up wrestling together and they know each other well,” Best said. “Flower Mound has a lot of good wrestlers in the system and they always give us a tough battle.”
Allen asserted its dominance early in Saturday’s battle.
The Eagles won the first two bouts via a 5-0 decision and pinfall. Allen continued to build on that momentum at 160 with Pierce returning to his usual weight class and scoring a victory over defending state champ Drake Dudley.
“Flower Mound’s strength is in the middle of the lineup,” Best said, “so after 160, we felt like we would win most of the upper weight classes and were in good position.”
Best was right as Allen won the match, 43-17, and the Texas Dual State Championships for a fourth consecutive year.
To Continue Reading Article By Kevin Hageland, SCNTX.com