Job not finished for Little Axe wrestlers

Indians looking to crown first state champion
BY ROBERT PRZYBYLO, Staff Writer, bprzybylo@opubco.com Published: February 24, 2011

Hawkins had major discipline problems. Love saw wrestling as a way for Hawkins to use his aggression in a positive manner.

�I was in sixth grade, and I'll be honest and say I wasn't that good of a kid,� Hawkins said. �I've always been big, and I liked getting into fights.

�I like to throw people around. Football you get to hit people, but it's not the same. I get to throw people around here, and it's OK. Wrestling has changed my life.�

Hawkins and Henson have helped change the perception of Little Axe wrestling. Hawkins is 28-1 and enters this weekend with a 112-18 career record. Henson's career mark is 104-20. He is 31-2 and has not lost to an in-state opponent this season.

Henson has already made school history by becoming the first four-time state qualifier. He placed fourth as a sophomore to go with his runner-up finish last year.

You can't question his determination. Being a 103-pounder as a freshman isn't the easiest thing to do � try doing it as a senior.

�It's all about discipline,� Henson said. �Watching your diet and not cheating. I know this is where I need to be at to be successful. I'm not going to cheat myself now.�

Hawkins was the opposite. He's been allowed to eat more, if anything, in making the move to 215. At this weight, he won't have to run into Tonkawa stud Jake Love again. Love, the undefeated champion at 189 last year, is once again unblemished and favored to take the crown. Hawkins' road to the 215 title isn't envious, but he knows he has a shot.

Henson and Hawkins aren't the only Little Axe wrestlers competing. Austin Hodge qualified at 160 pounds. Walter Lynn qualified at 285. Hodge and Lynn are juniors.

�All we are about is pride,� Hawkins said. �We love our sport, love our team. It's great that it's us two again. We've been doing this since seventh grade. All the long trips, all the different gyms, it's been us. Our dads haven't missed a moment. This is our last chance.�

Said Coach Love: �These are tremendous kids. They do everything right. They do what you ask of them. They're great leaders. We're really going to miss them when they're gone, but they're not gone yet. I hope we got one more great weekend in us.�

*For video with Hawkins and Henson, go to NewsOK.com/Varsity.

*Robert Przybylo breaks down the state wrestling tournament with mini-previews in each class. Read his analysis on the Varsity blogs at NewsOK.com/Varsity.

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