McKinney Boyd junior Alex Minor ended a long day of wrestling matches with a thrilling 8-7 come-from-behind win over Allen’s Howard Smith to the win the Class 5A UIL State Wrestling Championship for the 106-pound weight class.
Minor came back from an early 4-1 deficit to tie the title match at 5-5 and again at 7-7 before taking the lead for good at 8-7 with just over a minute left. He had to fend off several last-minute attacks by Smith to secure the victory. The finals match is available on YouTube at the following link: youtube.com/watch?v=x_3Inq3NXPg.
"The feeling after the last whistle was blown was unbelievable," Minor said. "I'd won a state title. The feeling was amazing."
It was third time that Minor had bested Smith in the finals in as many weeks. He beat Smith 8-5 in the district meet and 4-2 in the regional meet. Minor entered the state tournament as the No. 1 seed.
"I knew he was going to be ready, so I had to get after him and be at my best so he didn't take my state title from me," Minor said of his battle against Smith.
Wrestling coach David Clayton was happy with the result.
"We are extremely proud of Alex,” he said. “Even when he was down, he never panicked. He just worked his way back into the match and found a way to win.
"You don't find yourself in the state final that often so it was great that Alex took advantage of this chance and came out on top. Holding on for that win is a testament to Alex's hard work and training throughout the season."
Minor credited Clayton for his success.
"He always kept pushing me," he said. "If it weren't for him making sure I was always ready, there is no way I would have won a state title."
Minor’s scores from the UIL meet:
• First round: A. Minor (Boyd) by major decision over S. Soto (New Braunfels), 14-4.
• Quarterfinals: A. Minor (Boyd) by fall over A. Ramirez (Katy Cinco Ranch), 2:45.
• Semifinals: A. Minor (Boyd) by fall over King Fung Wu Mai (Katy Seven Lakes), 3:34.
• Finals: A. Minor (Boyd) by decision over Howard Smith (Allen), 8-7.
In the Region II meet, Minor won his first three matches with first-period pins at :28, :27 and 1:55. He beat Smith 4-2 in the championship. Boyd finished in 15 th place at the region meet.
Also competing well for Boyd in the Region II meet were 126-pounder Austin Gaus and 138-pounder Jeremiah Bradberry. Both were eliminated on the first day of the tournament. Sophomore 220-pounder Kiel Simas was unable to compete because of an injured shoulder.
So what does Minor plan for his senior year?
"Next season is about how I'm going to stay hungry," he said. "I'm going to wrestle a lot in the off-season, go to national tournaments and find the best competition I can."