When Cade Lindsey was first learning how to wrestle, he remembers the time his father told him one of the best feelings he ever had was winning a high school state championship.
That moment stuck with Lindsey. He sacrificed to chase after this feeling that his father, Craig, felt in 1986 when he won the 138-pound championship for Derby.
Finally, that elusive feeling came on Saturday night in Hartman Arena, where Cade Lindsey scored a takedown in overtime to defeat Northwest’s Devin Onwugbufor and win the 120-pound championship in Class 6A.
“Ever since he told me about it, I’ve been dreaming about this moment,” Cade said. “Everything he’s done for me and everyone has done for me, this is the payoff. I hope everyone else is enjoying it just as much as I am right now.”
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Lindsey was facing an opponent in Onwugbufor whom he had never defeated, losing three times this season. He knew he had to alter his strategy, but looking back, Lindsey said it was confidence that was missing.
“I think it finally hit me today that I am in the finals and it’s because I’m good and I wanted this,” Lindsey said. “I finally figured out that I can hang with these guys.”
In previous matches, Onwugbufor had always been the aggressor and had scored a takedown in the first period. This time, Lindsey avoided any lapses and kept it scoreless until escapes by both wrestlers brought overtime.
That’s when Craig felt good about his son’s chances in the stands.
“The thing about Cade is he’s very patient and he doesn’t get rattled very easily,” Craig said. “I had a pretty good feeling the way he was wrestling that he was going to find a way to pull it off.”
Sure enough, 20 seconds into overtime, Lindsey took a shot and latched onto Onwugbufor’s foot. He didn’t take him down initially, but caught Onwugbufor off-balance and was able to tug him down to the mat and score the winning takedown.
It happened in such a blur that Lindsey claims he doesn’t even remember what he did to win. All he remembers is his hand being raised and sprinting to jump into coach Bill Ross’ hug.
“That never gets old,” Ross said. “I might be getting old and my bones may be getting brittle, but I think I can still hang onto those guys when they win those titles.”
With the win, Craig and Cade Lindsey become the first father-son duo to have won a state championship at Derby. In a program that wins as much as Derby, that is a notable accomplishment.
“It doesn’t even matter if I wrestled or not,” Craig said, “I would be just as proud of him. I mean, what can you say? To win a state title as a freshman is just awesome.”
Cade couldn’t hold back the tears and he didn’t want to when he hopped the barricade, climbed into the stands, and found his father in the Derby cheering section.
Now he knows what he was talking about.
“My dad has taken me to tournaments, showed me moves, he was the one that got me into wrestling originally,” Cade Lindsey said. “One of the best things that has happened to me was having a dad that got me into wrestling. He was right. This is amazing.”