McALESTER — Latter rounds of a wrestling match always begin with both players kneeling on the mat, one player’s arms clinched around the other. The clinching player might have an easier time getting his opponent to the ground for a pin, but the clinched player can pick up a point by breaking the clinch and escaping.
McAlester senior Hunter Scott likes getting clinched. He can not only break clinches with ease, but he’s made a career of turning around and getting the quick takedown, turning one point into three.
“He has the best stand-up in the room,” Buffs coach Tim Thomas said Feb. 6. “He doesn’t always believe in it, (but) I mean he should, he should definitely. That’s by far his best thing. Getting on the bottom is important — it’s awful hard to score, for your opponent, if you’re never on the bottom.”
Scott was born in Muskogee, but he said he’s lived in McAlester and Blocker his whole life. He went to Crowder until the fifth grade, spent three years in McAlester Public Schools, then spent a year at Quinton before returning to McAlester in the ninth grade.
He said his wrestling career began in the first grade.
“I remember my dad picked me up and told me we were going to wrestling practice,” Scott said. “But I don’t remember any wrestling.”
Scott wrestled for McAlester in the seventh grade, then tried to at Quinton the next year. He said he didn’t like the team’s small size, so he returned to McAlester a year later to start high school.
“It was cool starting on varsity as a freshman,” Scott said.
Wrestling is a family activity for Scott. His cousin Brandon Beck wrestled for the Buffaloes, placing at State in 1988 and 1989. This season, Scott’s been able to wrestle with younger brothers Blake, a junior, and Cody, a freshman.