Scott redeems himself with state title
Photo and story by Dennis Sharkey
Jefferson West 220-pound wrestler Justin Scott removed a huge weight off his shoulders on Saturday by claiming the Class 4A state title.
Scott has thought about the state championship for a year after coming so close to winning the championship last year.
“I have a dream every night about getting pinned in the finals last year,” Scott said minutes after winning the 220-pound weight class title in Salina.
Scott, who was a sophomore last year, lost in the championship match to Colton Bonner of Baldwin by getting pinned 22 seconds into the third round. Scott had beaten Bonner the week before in the regional finals on an 8-5 decision where he never trailed on the scoreboard.
With Bonner moving on after last year Scott became the number one ranked wrestler in his class. Jefferson West Head Coach Shawn Dolezilek said Scott carried the burden of last year’s loss the entire season.
“I know this is a big load off his shoulders to finish here,” Dolezilek said.
Last year Scott was known around wrestling circles as an up and coming competitor but as the season rolled along more and more people became aware of his talents.
“He was kind of the guy under the radar. People didn’t talk about him much until the end,” Dolezilek said.
Scott’s performance in this year’s tournament was dominating. None of his four opponents in the tournament ever made it to a second round.
In the opening round match Scott needed only 17 seconds to pin Dakota Lewis of Altamont-Labette County and only 46 seconds to pin Otto Orosco of Uylsses in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals he pinned Gershom Avalos of Pittsburg in 1:31 and Stephen McDonald of Iola in 1:34 seconds of the championship match.
Before each match Scott appears to be calm and collected but when the whistle blows he bull rushes his opponent. Scott said he tries to focus on the task at hand before the match and not waste any energy on outside forces.
“Once that whistle blows it’s man versus man and nobody can stop me,” Scott said.
Dolezilek said as a coach there is much he can do with Scott because he is so talented. His job this season has been to make sure Scott is focused before each match.
“He’s so good at what he does most of it’s psychology,” Dolezilek said.
Despite his dominating performance in the tournament the focus this year has not been on a quick pin but rather to score points and the pins will come.
“He’s started to believe that more and more and that’s what he’s doing now,” Dolezilek said. “When the pin comes he takes it.”
Scott ends the season with a perfect 43-0 record.
In other action, four Jefferson West wrestlers competed at the tournament:
• Tucker Schreiner, 106-pound weight class, won his first match with a pin in the second round but dropped his quarterfinals match by getting pinned with 14 seconds left in the match. His season ended in the consolation quarterfinals on a 4-1 decision. He finished the season with a 33-6 record.
• Nate Holoman, 120-pound weight class lost his opening round match on an 8-1 decision but came back to win cross bracketing on a 7-4 decision. His season ended with a 9-1 loss in the consolation quarterfinals to finish with a 22-10 record.
• Josiah Dowding, 160-pound weight class, lost both of his matches to finish with a 28-13 record.
• Drake Byrd, 182-pound weight class, lost his matches to finish with a 14-13 record.
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