BYFIELD — Leadership, competitive fire and confidence: a milestone on the mat for Triton senior Cody Nixon.
“I knew that was going to be my 100th win,” Nixon said.
“I went out there and I took him down in the first period. From there, what was in my head was that I wasn’t going to lose the match and I didn’t.”
In his final bout of the Cape Ann League Championships against Max Whyman of Lynnfield/No. Reading, Nixon set a milestone that reflects on both his personal success and the growth of the Triton wrestling program: his 100th win.
“Having another 100 match winner says something about his own work, but it also says something about our program,” head coach Shawn McElligott said. “
Every time you have a guy with 100 wins, you can look at four or five other kids who helped him get to that position.”
In Nixon’s case, who wrestles at 138 pounds, it was not only his success on the mat that resonated with a young Vikings team, but also the team-first approach that he exhibited at all times.
On Jan. 28, Nixon opened the Triton meet against Pentucket with one of the year’s best bouts — a fight of two of the state’s greats: Cody Nixon and Josh Wesolowski. Nixon would fall in that match after a full six minutes, and would let his aggression be shown as he stormed into the locker room.
Two minutes later, he returned to the bench and let his voice be heard.
“It’s competitive fire,” McElligott said.
“It was two of the best going at it and he knows who Josh is; the two worked out sometimes in the off season. Most people noticed the original reaction, but it goes with what I tell the kids.
“You lost the match and you can be angry, but you have to be back on the bench in two or three minutes, and Nixon was our loudest guy. It’s important for our younger guys to hear his voice. He did his job as a captain.”
It is no surprise, then, that Nixon’s approach when taking the mat for his 100th win was largely about bettering his team’s standings in the tournament.
“I knew it was my match for my 100th win, but I knew that it was more than that,” Nixon said.
“I wanted to win that match to better our team and get that CAL title.”
While Triton wished to have won the league title instead finishing in third place, time was taken to acknowledge and appreciate the career of Nixon.
“There was a celebration after,” Nixon said.
“Coach just said ‘wrestle your stuff, Cody’ and I had no doubt that I was going to win. After I won it, I gave Coach Mac a hug and went over and hugged my assistant coaches. I then went over and thanked (former Triton coach and current Georgetown/Ipswich head coach) coach Archambault. I then went over and hugged my dad and my mom before sitting down and watching the rest of the finals matches.”
The achievement was just another bullet point on what has been a tremendous season for the Vikings.
Setting school records left and right, a smaller-than-normal group of mostly young players came together to put forth an 18-5 season.
“We have a lot of young talent,” Nixon said.
“We have three seniors, so a lot of young talent, and we came together. Once we got into our groove, there was no stopping that. With coach Mac behind us putting us where we need to be, we are a tough team to beat while always being respectful.”
Leadership, competitive fire and self-confidence with respect to opponents are the recipe for Nixon’s success.
“I’d like to thank all of my coaches, including my youth coach Dan Watson, coach Mac and my assistant coaches,” Nixon said.
“Also, I’d like to thank Matt Smith from Smitty’s Wrestling Barn in Danville, N.H., which is an off-season camp that I attend. I plan on attending college and wrestling, but I haven’t decided where yet.”