Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

March 4, 2014

Tiger title

Hestin Lamons wins Tahlequah’s first state championship since 2006

bjohnson@tahlequahdailypress.com

OKLAHOMA CITY — Hestin Lamons’ dream came true — in more ways than one.

Roughly seven hours before taking the mat in the 152-pound state finals on Saturday night, Lamons dozed off to sleep.

“Today, I took a nap around 1 or 2, and I had a dream that I hit a double-leg and took the kid (Collinsville’s Wyatt Jordan) down,” Lamons said. “I usually don’t even hit double-legs, and in my match I hit a beautiful double-leg and I took him down.”

Lamons took Jordan down three times, in fact, and cruised to a 7-2 victory at State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City to become Tahlequah’s first state champion since Kelly Henderson in 2006.

After three previous years of finishing second (as a freshman) and third (twice), Lamons finally hauled in a Class 5A state title.

A dream come true, indeed.

“Dreams come true, for sure, man,” Lamons said. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Lamons capped a state tournament in which Tahlequah finished in a tie for seventh with Piedmont at 46 points. However, Piedmont took eight wrestlers to the state tournament, while Tahlequah took just four.

And all four finished fourth or higher.

“It was a great weekend,” said Tahlequah coach James Rappe, who had Mitch Sellers (145) finish second, while Reese Davis (160) and Zech VanFleet (132) both finished fourth.

“As a program, we just want to keep progressing forward. Last year, we brought four and placed three. This year, we brought four and placed four. I just want to continue to build and move the program forward.”

Now the Tigers can move forward with an individual champion to their credit. All thanks to Lamons.

With wins over El Reno’s Elisha Leonard (11-1 major decision) and Shawnee’s Matt Daniel (6-0) in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively, Lamons punched his ticket to the state finals on Friday. Waiting for him there was Jordan, who Lamons beat in the regional finals, 6-3.

Lamons led Jordan 2-1 after both the first and second periods, and he knew that his one takedown of Jordan wasn’t likely going to be enough.

“I knew the dude was dangerous, and our feet were under-hooked, so I just wanted to keep wrestling,” Lamons said. “I wanted to score as many times as I could and not leave it in the ref’s hands or anything like that. I just wanted to dominant and put on a dominating performance.”

He saved that for the third period, where he took Jordan down twice — including a takedown in the closing seconds where Jordan pulled Lamons down on top of him. Lamons, then, started slapping the mat, knowing that his elusive title would be his in a matter of seconds.

“Once I got my second takedown, I knew it was over,” said Lamons, who had only been taken down twice throughout the course of his 35-1 season. “It was just the greatest feeling ever.”

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