Elias’ perfect start — West freshman Idris Elias finished his season 33-0 with a Class 5A 106-pound title, beating Goddard’s Lane Glover 3-2.
Afterward, Elias didn’t focus on perfection. He didn’t focus on winning the first of what he hopes is four career titles.
“It feels great because now I have that personal growth feeling,” he said. “All these years I’ve been going to kids state, and finally last year I win for the first time.
“To come out here this first time around, to go and get it, it feels pretty good to know that I’m making myself better.”
Elias is a cerebral wrestler. Before his semifinal on Friday at Hartman Arena, he talked to other wrestlers who had faced his opponent this season. Usually that’s not something West coach Kenny Taylor wants his wrestlers to do, but in Elias’ case, it’s fine.
“We tell kids not to do that, let the coaches worry about it,” Taylor said. “Idris on the other hand, he doesn’t get distracted or discombobulated if he sees an opponent who does good things on the mat. With him that works. He’s able to come up with his own game plan.
“I’ll say, ‘Idris, I want you to do this or this.’ ‘Coach, I feel more comfortable doing this because I’ve seen this kid do this.’ It makes my job easier.”
But he also wasn’t satisfied.
The loss acted as a driving force as Langley returned to the title match, winning at 182 pounds in a 3-1, sudden-victory match.
And when it came down to the final seconds of the overtime, there was a scramble with Langley getting the late takedown on St. James’ Trent Salsbury.
“I just remember thinking during that shot, that last shot of overtime, I had to try everything I can,” Langley said. “Because I want to get this win. I want to win state.
“ Last year I got in the same position. I had him up, I couldn’t turn him. I kept thinking during the match, just get up and turn behind him.”
Langley (41-1) wanted the overtime so he could get the takedown for the win. But it was close.
“I was gritting my teeth the whole time, hoping there would be time left,” he said.
“There’s a lot more pressure coming in,” Terrill said after he beat Andover freshman Paul Stuart 6-0 for his second title.
Heights junior Sean Deshazer won his third title, beating St. James’ Reese Cokeley 8-5 at 126 pounds. Deshazer’s previous two titles came in Class 6A.
He denied feeling any pressure in the days leading up to the 5A tournament. But after he jumped into coach Mike Church’s arms, he admitted to some.
“It wasn’t pressure,” Deshazer said. “Maybe just a little bit. I just wanted to go out there and win, secure it, make sure I can get four.”
For Kapaun senior Parker Howell, he increased the intensity on himself, scrutinizing his own abilities over and over.
“Just so much stress the past few weeks has been killing me,” said Howell, who beat Andover freshman Jack Maki 8-3 to win at 120 pounds. He won at 113 pounds in 2013.
Friday night, after the semifinals, Howell couldn’t rest. He went to sleep much later than he had planned. While he wanted to sleep, his mind was too active.
“I was up way later than I should have been last night,” he said. “Going through a bunch of different scenarios — ‘What if this happens, what if this happens,’ playing everything out.”
But once he got his first takedown, he felt a release of that stress. He relaxed, his confidence increased and he took over.
“Being a two-timer (champion) is a whole different league than just being a one-timer. It feels good,” he said. “ For me (not winning) would have been the worst thing possible, go out, the last match in high school ever would be a loss. That was my biggest fear this season.”
Class 6A and 5A Parade of champions
West's Idris Elias, 5A 106-pound champ
Ark City's Logan Terrill, 5A 113-pound champ
Kapaun's Parker Howell, 5A 120-pound champ
Heights' Sean Deshazer, 5A 126-pound champ
Newton's Jared Langley, 5A 182-pound champ