Cy Hicks set himself up for a triumphant return to Mat Classic XXX, winning the 285-pound championship at the 2A Region I tournament on Saturday at Tumwater High School.
The Tumwater senior blanked Aberdeen’s Skyler Murray, 3-0, for the regional title, but doesn’t like to look at himself as the defending state heavyweight champion.
“I feel like this year’s a whole different year. No matter what last year was like, that was last year,” said Hicks, who also has third- and fifth-place finishes at state on his resume. “This is a new year and I still have to take the same steps and work hard to get there.”
Hicks doesn’t even want a scouting report on his competition next weekend at the Tacoma Dome.
“I have no clue who’ll be there. I don’t look into that stuff. I don’t look at social media, I don’t check into wrestling reports,” he said. “It’s not because I’m arrogant, it’s because I really don’t want to know. I’d rather work with my heart.”
Hicks leads a group of 23 local wrestlers from the tournament to Mat Classic XXX, including seven from regional champion Centralia, which edged rival W.F. West, 126.5-124.5. Tumwater finished third in the team competition with 110.5 points.
“The bigger the tournament, the better we’re going to do,” Centralia coach Scott Phillips said. “Our whole team is peaking at the right time. Hopefully, we can carry the momentum with us to Tacoma next weekend.”
Mykka Mcallister (132 pounds) and Tristan Dickey (170) won individual championships for the Tigers.
Dickey was particularly dominant. Ranked fourth in 2A, he pinned his first two opponents, then defeated fifth-ranked Colton Wheeler of Hockinson, 11-1, on the strength of near falls in the second and third rounds.
But Phillips pointed to unexpected third-place finishes from a pair of cousins — sophomores Juan Gaspar (106) and Dayvi Gaspar (120) — as the performances that vaulted Centralia to the team title.
W.F. West claimed two individual titles from Roehre Cunningham (106) and Levi Walters (120).
In addition to Hicks, Tumwater’s Mason Burbidge triumphed at 138 pounds, pinning Nolan Keesee of rival Black Hills in four minutes, 57 seconds. It was Burbidge’s first victory in three tries against Keesee this season.
Ironically, Burbidge cited coaching help from a former Black Hills’ four-time state champion for the breakthrough.
“Nolan’s a really good wrestler, but I was just faster on my feet today,” said Burbidge, who reached the state tournament last season. “I’ve put in a lot more work this season. Practicing with Jimmy Bellville has been a huge plus.”