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Gordon sets tone, finishes second for Yukon

Corbin Gordon placed second in the state wrestling tournament on Saturday. Photo / Michael Kinney

Corbin Gordon was very familiar with the state tournament. In his first three years of high school at Yukon, he had advanced to the Oklahoma State Fairground each season.
However, the 220-pounder had yet to compete for the state title.
Entering the 2020 championships, he knew this was going to be his final chance to get the job done.
Gordon made it to the finals after plowing his way to wins over Bixby’s Isaac Gibson and Broken Arrow’s Torrance Ingram on the first day of competition.
“I feel like I went out there, I was aggressive,” Gordon said. “I made sure that the opponent knew it was my mat, that I just did my moves and was confident in what I did.”
That set up a battle of familiar foes in the title match as Gordon took on Mustang’s Judson Rowland.
The two giants had met twice during the regular season with Rowland winning both.
Yet, Gordon (31-4) went into the match thinking a third time was going to be his charm.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
Rowland came away with a pin with one second remaining in the first period.
“Well, he got the best of us, didn’t he? He capitalizes on some of our weaknesses there, and he went to get that arm on the back,” Yukon coach Joe Schneider said. “Sometimes bad things happen to good people. He seems to be caught right at the end of the period there. Get that match to go a little bit longer and maybe we do a little better.”
Gordon says the confidence he wrestled with earlier in the tournament was missing when he faced Rowland.
“I just didn’t believe in myself, didn’t hit my moves, didn’t trust my training and I just didn’t succeed because I didn’t trust in what I was taught,” Gordon said. “Confidence, I feel is 70% of the game. You have to have the confidence to be able to trust in the moves that you hit every day in practice, trust in the way that you train.”
Not being able to come back and try and earn that elusive state title was hard to swallow.
“It’s really tough because I’m not going to have another chance at him,” Gordon said. “I’m a senior, so it’s just hard knowing that yes, I did get second in state, which is a huge success, but I didn’t get that last victory with him.”
But Schneider says Gordon and the other seniors have set a good example for the younger wrestlers on and off the mat.
“Corbin’s a three-time qualifier. You know, the first time didn’t win a match; last year, won a match or two,” Schneider said. “And he battled, initially getting to the finals. That’s a big improvement. And that’s what life’s about, making improvements.
“Don’t be the same person or don’t be worse than you were yesterday. Get better. Get better every day. And that’s what I loved about Corbin. He’s an on-the-mat, off-the-mat, hardworking kid. I mean, he works with the special-needs students at our school. Great role model, a great leader for our program. He’s going to be greatly missed.”

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