By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Jake Scott has accomplished a lot in the last two years of his high school wrestling career — two-time state qualifier with a 42-15 record.
But the Enid senior hopes his finest moment hasn’t happened yet as he prepares to meet western champion Andrew Dixon in a first-round 220-pound match today at the Class 6A state tournament at Oklahoma City’s State Fair Arena.
“If I can win state, I won’t be able to describe how amazing it feels,’’ Scott said. “I’m a good talker, but I don’t know how I would describe that ... I just hope I have my most memorable moment Friday and Saturday.’’
Dixon pinned Scott at the Geary Tournament last month. Dixon comes in with a 40-0 record to Scott’s 21-5. Scott was fourth at the eastern regional
“I’m definitely excited about it,’’ Scott said. “It gives me an opportunity to prove myself and show that wasn’t me at the regionals. When I wrestled him at Geary, I hadn’t had a lot of mat time yet. I wasn’t at my peak performance.’’
Scott won his first round match at state as a junior, but then was pinned twice and didn’t place.
“I’m taking everything a little harder now,’’ he said. “I’m more serious than I was last year. I want to bear the fruit of my labor better than I did last year.’’
The biggest thing he learned from last year was mental toughness.
“You need to be ready to go all the time,’’ Scott said. “Last year, I was ready for my first match, but I wasn’t totally prepared mentally for the others.’’
Scott is a little nervous about state and a chance to redeem himself
“I haven’t let my emotions get up to where they should be yet,’’ Scott said. “But everything is riding on this last go-around. It’s given me some jitters.’’
Scott had a goal of just qualifying a year ago. This year, it’s been to win, or at least place.
“I let some things slip last year,’’ Scott said. “This year, I knew I was going to qualify. I just had to take my work ethic up to the next level, and not back off like I did last year.’’
Scott, a student council officer, was Enid’s first state qualifier since 2008, when he was the Eastern regional runner-up as a junior. That brought additional responsibilities this year.
“I feel like the burden was put on me in the beginning to lead more,’’ Scott said. “I accepted it midway through the season. I put the team first, and we all got going in the right direction.’’
For only the second time in EHS history, the Plainsmen have three state qualifiers. Junior 126-pounder Billy Grothe and freshman 145-pounder Anthony Gonzalez will join Scott at state.
“It’s a lot more fun seeing others having to practice hard before we go off to state,’’ Scott said. “It was better than it was last year.’’
Whatever Scott does at state, his legacy still is clear. Only a handful of EHS wrestlers have qualified for state twice.
“I feel good about that,’’ Scott said. “I definitely like to be remembered as being a state champion. If that doesn’t happen, a least a placer. I would take that for a legacy.’’
Scott may be better known for what he’s done off the mat. Besides being a student council officer, he also scored 30 on his ACT.
“It (academics) comes second nature to me,’’ Scott said. “Somehow it falls together. I don’t go out and do as much stuff with my friends as a normal teenager would do. Sometimes, you just have to bunker down at home.’’
Scott had a setback last month when an illness sidelined him for 10 days.
“It probably took my cardio and my ability to keep going for a long time back a little,’’ Scott said. “I don’t think it set me back any.’’
Scott plans to try to walk-on in football at the University of Tulsa, where he would be reunited with his brother Colby. He’s more in line for academic than athletic scholarships.
If he goes to TU, it means he will be giving up wrestling after seven seasons, mostly under current EHS varsity coach Jory Dick.
“I really don’t know how that will feel until it happens,’’ Scott said. “It’s hard to predict something like that.’’
Enid’s coach said he will miss Scott for sure.
“Jake Scott’s name will live here for a long time,’’ Dick said. “He’s the kind of student colleges want to have. He’s the kind of guy that you want to hire. I’m proud to be a part of his career.’’
Grothe (25-9), a third-place finisher at regionals, will go against Western runnerup Keaton Randall (26-8) of Westmoore in the first round.
Gonzalez (13-9, fifth in the regionals) earned a spot at state when a competitor ahead of him was disqualified. He’ll face Western runner-up Evan Wilson of Midwest City (24-10) in the first round.
“Once you get to state, everybody is 0-0,’’ Dick said. “It’s anybody’s ball game. I like our draws and where we’re at.’’