The Colony senior Elizabeth Grabiec knows how to overcome a mistake.
In a season in which Grabiec had yet to lose a match, an attempt that she made to shoot in for a takedown nearly backfired in a semifinal match at 165 pounds in the Class 5A state tournament. College Station’s Alex Guerra rolled Grabiec onto her back and The Colony senior had to fight for more than 20 seconds to get to her stomach, said Cougars head coach Chuck Brown.
Grabiec called it “20 seconds of hell trying to move.”
And move, she did.
Grabiec worked back to her feet and rallied from a 5-1 deficit to score an 8-7 decision in double overtime. She carried that momentum into the championship match, where she pinned previously unbeaten Jillian Wold of Comal Canyon to cap off the first undefeated season in program history and capture her first state title.
“It was awesome,” said Grabiec, who finished the season with a record of 27-0. “It was the No. 1 top moment of my life.”
Grabiec was one of two Cougars who advanced to a first-place match at the Berry Center in Cypress on April 23.
Fresh off capturing a regional title, The Colony senior Hudson Herring, like Grabiec, looked to cap off an undefeated season with a state title. Herring earned a berth in the 132-pound first-place bout after he scored a 4-2 decision of Canyon Randall’s Jesse Perea in the semifinals. However, in the final, Dumas’ Robert Ruiz outlasted Herring to earn a 12-5 decision.
Herring finished the season with a record of 25-1 and earned second place in 5A at 132 pounds.
“Hudson had a great year,” Brown said. “For him to be in the state finals, I can't say enough good things about that kid. He's been a great leader for us for three years."
The Cinderella ride for senior Tanner Wride continued in the state tournament. Wride, who had wrestled in just two matches prior to the district tournament after battling injuries and quarantine this year, won his first match in Cypress with a 7-3 decision of Mission Sharyland’s Moses Rodriguez. But, Wride’s season came to an end after two consecutive losses.
“It was a testament to him that he just keeps fighting and fighting and fighting,” Brown said. “You could see at that point that it would have been nice to have three more weeks or two more weeks. In our case when we had a COVID-shortened season, if he would have had a full season, that would have helped a ton."
The Colony sophomore Tabitha Bowden lost both matches at 95 pounds in what was her second straight appearance in the state tournament. Bowden came into the state tournament fresh off a second-place finish at the Region 2-5A tournament and finished the season with a record of 20-6.
Brown said that Bowden has the potential to become the first four-time state qualifier in program history.
“I’m excited for her, because when she first started, she didn’t know anything about wrestling,” Grabiec said. “And, from last year to this year, you could see a whole bunch of improvement. She stays after practice, and during our workouts in the summer, you could tell that she wants it.”