CYPRESS — Some say the best things in life come in pairs.
A&M Consolidated wrestling coach Dave Salyer certainly agreed with that statement when it came to winning the school’s first state wrestling titles.
Seniors Za’Maia Marshall (148 pounds) and Harley Coons (160) brought home those heralded first school titles, both winning by decision at the Class 5A state wrestling meet Saturday at the Berry Center in Cypress.
“It’s amazing,” Consol coach David Salyer said. “To come to this level and win it’s awesome. There’s not much more you can say than that. They put it together on the biggest stage.”
Coons, who beat Hereford’s Israel Herrera by a 4-1 decision, had been climbing the ladder toward a state title, finishing fourth as a sophomore and third as a junior. He finished his final high school season a perfect 38-0.
“It’s going to be crazy looking at a medal that says ‘State Champion,’ and not just ‘Youth Champion,’” Coons said. “I knew it was going to be my last time here. I just tried to keep a clear mind and focus on what I needed to.”
Marshall technically notched Consol’s first-ever state title. She won just minutes before Coons, leaping into Salyer’s arms shortly after beating Uvalde’s Adelyhda Perez by a 1-0 decision. She finished fourth at last year’s meet and finishes this season at 36-1.
“I’m so proud to make history for my school,” Marshall said. “I hope someday girls come to Consol and see my name and what I did and know they can accomplish whatever they want to.”
Junior Monyell Nutall (182) didn’t join Bryan’s wrestling team until football season ended last December but made an impression at his first state meet, pinning Amarillo’s Josh Frisk in 2:34 to finish in fifth place. Nutall made it to the quarterfinals before suffering back-to-back defeats ahead of his fifth-place match.
“I wish we could convince more kids to come out from football and I think I’m going to take him back to the football team and tell them, ‘Look what he just did and what you could be doing,’” Bryan wrestling coach Mike Zito said. “For him to walk away with that medal, it’s going to mean the world to him.”
Bryan sophomore JaMarcus Thomas (170) also took home fifth place, rounding out Bryan’s top-five finishers. He defeated Consol’s Waylon Roosma by decision (5-2) in the fifth-place match. Roosma lost his first match of the tournament, but rattled off three straight wins in the consolation bracket to land in sixth place.
“We brought eight kids and sent two to the podium so I’m definitely happy with how things went today,” Zito said. “I wish some of my seniors would’ve went a little deeper in the tournament but you’ve got 16 kids in each class wrestling for only six medals.”
Bailey Reid (285) became the first medalist in the two-year history of Rudder’s wrestling program. He defeated Pflugerville Connally’s Jeremiah Glenn by a 1-0 decision to win fifth place. Like Nutall, Reid made it to the quarterfinals before suffering back-to-back defeats and winning his fifth-place match.
“It’s exciting for our program to get our first [medal] on the board,” said Rudder coach Jonathan Reid. “It’s also a little extra special because [Bailey] is my son. He’s worked so incredibly hard for this.”
The Vikings came home with a little extra hardware, as Zito was one of three Texas wrestling coaches inducted into the Texas Wrestling Hall of Fame in a ceremony during the meet.
“It wasn’t one of those things that ‘This is the goal of my life,’” said Zito on his induction. “My goal is to keep putting out wrestlers and do the best with what I’ve got and keep on going.”
NOTES — The A&M Consolidated boys team finished 10th overall, Bryan 17th, Rudder 51st and College Station 74th. The A&M Consolidated girls finished 17th, with Bryan, Rudder and College Station tied for 65th. ... Mason Kruljac picked up wins in the championship and consolation brackets before being knocked out by Dumas’ Braxton Montgomery (decision, 9-2). Vikings senior David Frazier won his first match, defeating San Antonio Highlands’ Joseph Santos (major decision, 13-1), but then suffered back-to-back losses to end his tournament. Bryan junior Larry Duron picked up a win in the consolation round over Georgetown’s Carson Pottenger (decision, 5-2) after losing his first match and was eliminated the next round. Bryan’s Caden Scott (152), Caden DeJesus (126), Teya Villalpando (128) and Makia English, Consol’s J.R. Matlock and Garrett Georg, College Station’s Kira Pomykal (119) and Andrew Rodriguez (138) and Rudder’s Shelby Squires (215) each lost their first two matches of the meet, knocking them out of the tournament.
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