“I preach to these guys that you’re going to perform how you practice,” Don said.
“That’s one thing (I) do not have to get onto him, and never have. And it’s not just because he’s my son, because he’s had other coaches and assistant coaches that tell me, ‘Man, I wish I had a room full of this kid.’”
All that hard work really came together during Donald’s junior year at McAlester. Cannon went 32-3 last season, capping the year with a state championship in February.
Cannon said his usual wrestling strategy has been to take an opponent down early in the match, gain a quick lead and force his opponent to wrestle more aggressively. In the championship, however, Cannon had to wait until overtime to finally pin Collinsville’s Jacob Findley and break a 0-0 tie.
“I was pretty close to getting a takedown before overtime, then he almost reversed me and took me to my back,” Cannon said of his championship match. “I ended up saving that and we went into overtime. That was with like 20 seconds left.”
Between last week’s snowstorm and multiple Buffs wrestlers playing on McAlester’s championship-bound football team, the 2013-14 wrestling season hasn’t really begun. But once the Buffs do come together, Cannon said he expects great things for both himself — a second state championship, for example — and his team.
“We have a solid team,” Cannon said. “If we have our best guys out there, they’re not ineligible or hurt, I think we can really do some good.”
An honors student at MHS, Cannon said he wants to wrestle for a Division I university. He said he’s already drawn interest from Stanford University in Connecticut and Columbia University in New York, but the dream is to wrestle for OSU.