By Michael Kinney
The Moore American
MOORE — Before Saturday, Moore’s Derek Silvertsen hadn’t tasted defeat all year. He rode into the 182-pound regional championship match on a 34-0 record and was on pace to keep intact his goals of going undefeated and winning a state championship.
However, when the match came to an end, Silvertsen had suffered his first blemish on his record when he fell to Edmond North’s Lance Dixon 8-3.
“I definitely need to try and forget about it and put it in the past,” Silvertsen said. “But it will definitely give me a drive to work harder this week. Give me an extra push to go into state.”
Silvertsen is one of four Lions who have advanced to the state tournament Friday and Saturday at the Fair Grounds in Oklahoma City. They include Josh Lindsey (132 pounds), Colby Moates (138) and McKale Washington (152).
MHS Coach Robert Washington had hoped he would get a few more kids to qualify for state and possibly compete for a team title. But some of his Lions came up short.
“I thought we would be in the middle of four to five to six,” Robert Washington said. “We had some kids that got to the semifinals that we wanted to get through that just didn’t have enough oomph. I’ve been here before where we didn’t get to go at all. It’s kind of a two-way sword. I’m happy that we’re going. But I would like to take more kids because I think our program is getting to the point now where we are excelling a little bit more than normal. You always want more.”
Lindsey, Washington and Silvertsen each lost in the regional final and go into state as the West No. 2 seed. Moats is a No. 4 seed after falling in the regional consolation finals.
“They are going to have to fine tune some things,” Robert Washington said. “For some of those kids it was the first time we saw them and the first time they saw us. We break down film quite often. Just get more active on the mat. I think we kind of wrestled a little hesitant because it’s because it was their first time and you don’t wrestle to your true potential. That’s our plan.”
Joining the Lions at state are a host of wrestlers from Southmoore and Westmoore. That includes defending state champion Nathan Marek. Just like he has done all year, the SaberCats junior swept through the 170-pound class at regionals.
Marek was the only area wrestler to claim a regional championship and a No. 1 seed. He enters the tourney with a 42-2 record.
Also from Southmoore is Conor Dooling (113), Zac Damico (120), Zac Moore (182) and Jakoby Walker (195). The Jaguars are bringing Dalton Duffield (106), Keaton Randle (126), Shane Rogers (152) and John Finn (220).
Silvertsen said he plans to learn from the his loss to Dixon and be more prepared if the two meet up again. But the only way the two can face-off again is if both made it to the finals.
“I think it’s just going to take me working hard this week,” Silvertsen said. “And then going into the state tournament, just leaving it all on the mat. Not taking anything with me. This is my last match. My senior year.”