McALESTER — For McAlester senior Donald Cannon, the wrestling never starts or ends. Sure, he hasn’t yet wrestled in a dual-meet for the Buffs this season, but he’s participated in numerous offseason and preseason meets, winning or placing at three in the last month.
For Cannon, wrestling is a year-round sport.
“You kind of have to love it to do it and succeed at it,” Cannon said Tuesday.
“I don’t know, it’s just in my blood.”
Cannon comes from a family of wrestlers. His father, Don Cannon, wrestled in junior high in Cordell, and his cousins Matt and Skyler Holman both won either individual or team wrestling championships with Oklahoma State University.
Cannon started wrestling when he was just 5 years old in the 37-pound weight class.
“I got second in my first tournament: the Sapulpa Christmas Classic,” Cannon said.
Cannon’s family moved to McAlester soon after the Sapulpa Christmas Classic, and Cannon has grown up in McAlester’s public school system. He qualified for the state wrestling tournament as a freshman in 2011, placing third in the 103-pound weight class.
Cannon bumped up to 120 pounds as a sophomore, placing sixth at Regionals. Frustrated by his lack of success that year, Cannon intensified his training, taking private lessons from Skyler Holman in Sapulpa and attending both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling tournaments in the spring and summer.
Cannon said he also spends his downtime watching wrestling matches online or going to dual-meets at OSU.
“I watch a lot of different videos and different wrestlers, trying to take different stuff from them,” Cannon said.
“I just sit at home thinking about wrestling. I wish I had a twin so I could sit at home and just practice moves on him.”
His father and coach Don said Cannon’s work ethic has been Donald’s greatest asset as a wrestler.