Class 3A wrestling: Ethan Walker wins a title for Heritage Hall
There's not much of a need for a bus for the Heritage Hall wrestling team. With just three wrestlers, the whole squad would fit comfortably in a hatchback.
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But even without a half dozen state qualifiers, Heritage Hall left its mark on the Class 3A tournament as junior Ethan Walker became the school's first state champion since 1986 with a 6-4 decision over Blackwell's Ky Cassady at 195 pounds.
Blackwell won the Class 3A team title with 150 points. Perry was second with 112 points.
The Chargers had a string of champions in the 1970s and '80s, but it's been a long drought. Heritage Hall had just four wrestlers to start the season. One quit before regionals. Finn Higgins also qualified at 182 pounds.
Walker was pinned with 30 seconds left in his third-place match as a sophomore. There were no such worries this time around as he scored a takedown midway through the third that proved to be the difference.
“It was expected but unreal,” Walker said. “I've put so much work into it, and to see it pay off are two different things. I knew he was tough, but he was smaller than me. I knew I could control the ties. If I got in on a shot I could finish.”
With just three team members, practice is difficult. Walker and Higgins had to hit the road to get ready for state.
“We would go practice at Edmond North and we'd go to Deer Creek,” Walker said. “We were nomads. We would go wherever they would take us.”
Heritage Hall coach Eric London hopes to see more champions from his program.
“We had two state placers last year and we had two this year,” he said. “The program is growing. We think we can continue to grow it.”
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