Hunter Scott makes Holtville High historyPublished 2:31pm Friday, February 22, 2013
By GRIFFIN PRITCHARD
Hunter Scott was no stranger to tournament finals – he’d wrestled in four leading up to Saturday’s state championship match.
“I was nervous,” said Scott. “(Coach Sellers) told me: ‘Go on and get a win, bring it back.’”
And that’s what Scott did en route to finishing the 2012-2013 campaign as one of only two wrestlers in 1A-4A to finish their championship season undefeated.
“You could tell he was nervous,” said Jared Sellers, coach of the Bulldogs wrestling team. “But I knew he was ready. We had a good week of practice and we conditioned some on Thursday. I knew he was ready.”
Scott, a sophomore, became the first Bulldog to win a sectional tournament last year, repeated that feat this season and qualified for the state tournament as the top seed at 160 pounds.
“I went last year, so (coming back) it wasn’t this strange place,” said Scott. “I wasn’t as nervous. Last year, I didn’t really know what to expect.”
But, when the whistle blew, it was business as usual.
Scott Drew Deshler’s Tyler Vinson to open the tournament and picked up a 4-1 win to move on.
“That was probably the toughest match I wrestled, before the championship,” said Scott. “I went out there nervous. I was worried about the outcome and started wrestling not to lose. I didn’t wrestle as hard as I could.”
Scott’s effort was enough though as he picked up the 4-1 victory to advance.
In the quarterfinals, Tallassee’s D.J. Rivers (25-7) upset Weaver’s Curtis Henry (62-8) with a first-period pin to advance to face Scott.
The two tangled at the Barry Mask Invitational and in the sectional tournament. With Scott getting the better of Rivers.
The state tournament was no different. Scott pinned Rivers in the second period to advance to the final.
“The last match was my toughest (competition-wise),” said Scott.
In the finals, the Bulldog drew Dylan Harmon (64-9) of Oak Grove.
“I’ve never seen him wrestle before in my life,” said Scott.
Sellers was confident that Scott could win.
“I knew he was good enough,” said Sellers. “I was scared that something crazy was going to happen. The kid he was wrestling was like 6-foot-2, long arms and legs.”
But that didn’t stop him as he jumped ahead and didn’t relinquish control.
“Once I got to the third round and saw I was up, I realized I was going to win,” said Scott. “All I had to was wrestle smart. I’m just thinking: ‘Don’t let him catch me in something stupid.’ And I didn’t.”
Scott held on for the 9-3 victory.
“It felt extremely good to win. It still feels great,” said Scott Monday afternoon. “But, there’s definitely going to be a target on my back next year.”