MOREHEAD CITY — Micah Dixon has two tournament championships, and we’re barely into December.
The West Carteret senior has gone 10-0 at 195 pounds with first-place finishes at the Patriots’ Fall Beach Brawl and New Bern’s Swiss Bear.
“I feel pretty good about it,” Dixon said. “I’m just doing what I can do for the team, trying to score as many points as possible for the team.”
He defeated the same wrestler in the finals of each tournament, New Bern’s Jaidon Bennett by a 15-0 technical fall at the Fall Beach Brawl and then by a much closer 5-2 decision at the Swiss Bear.
“I felt like I didn’t wrestle well at all this weekend after tech falling him at the Beach Brawl,” Dixon said. “I’m trying to approach every match with the same mindset, like it’s for a state championship, so every match is the same to me.”
Dixon has the state tournament on his mind every day after failing to qualify for it in each of his first three varsity seasons. The last two years were particularly disappointing.
He went 46-14 last season but fell in the 170-pound consolation semifinals at the 3A east regional by a 5-2 decision to Northside-Jacksonville’s Rory Aldridge. As a sophomore, he went 31-18 and dropped a 10-3 decision to Swansboro’s Justin Cortese in the 160-pound consolation third round.
“All three years, I’ve gotten hurt at the regionals and not been able to compete as best I can,” Dixon said. “It’s motivated me in the offseason. I was driven.”
Dixon came into last season beat up from football. He led the West defense in tackles (111), tackles for loss (11) and sacks (seven) for a team that posted an 8-4 record and won the county championship with victories over East Carteret and Croatan.
“I had a torn labrum, and then I sprained my ankle really bad at the regional,” Dixon said. “The shoulder thing is a recurring injury. I fell on the ground wrong on a tackle.”
The linebacker again led the football team in tackles as a senior this fall, totaling 88 for a team that went 6-6.
“Playing football comes naturally to me,” he said. “Ever since I was 5, my dad had me doing linebacker drills, so I grew up doing those. I’ve never really had the ball in my hand.”
Shining on the defensive side of the ball had Dixon focusing on football for much of his first three years at West.
And then last year, he put up an impressive 46-14 record on the wrestling mat and also helped the Patriots capture their first 3A Coastal Conference championship in five years, thanks to a 48-21 victory over Havelock in the regular season finale. Both teams entered the match with 4-0 league records.
“I would say I considered myself a football player during my freshman, sophomore and some of my junior year, then a wrestler,” he said. “After seeing how well I did last year, starting in the middle of the year, there has been a progression. I can see myself forming into a better wrestler and actually see where wrestling can take me. It’s just been a blessing.”
His focus on wrestling has carried over to the next level. Dixon is concentrating on hitting the mat in college and has already had discussions with Division II programs UNC-Pembroke and Mount Olive.
A solid student, he’s looking to remain around sports in the future and is considering majors in sports medicine, sports management or sports communication.
Here are a few of Dixon’s favorite things, as well as his ideal groups with which to eat dinner and survive a zombie apocalypse and the five items he would take with him on a deserted island:
Favorite Movie: All the “Halloween” movies.
Favorite TV Show: “Gotham.”
Favorite Cartoon: “Tom and Jerry.”
Favorite Band/Artist: Lil Baby.
Favorite Song: “Drip Too Hard” by Lil Baby and Gunna.
Favorite Book: The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon.
Favorite Team: Baltimore Ravens.
Favorite Player: Ray Lewis.
Favorite Vacation: Florida.
Favorite Hobby: Sports.
Favorite Subject: Math.
Favorite Quote: “Mind over matter, if you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”
Favorite Food: BLT sub.
Favorite Drink: Apple juice.
Favorite Restaurant: Luigi’s Pizza.
Favorite Season: Fall.
Favorite Sports Memory: Winning my first match.
Favorite Teacher: Ms. Lewis.
Favorite Sport: Wrestling.
Favorite Pre-Game/Post-Game Ritual: Listening to music and shaking the coaches’ hands.
Favorite Website/App: Snapchat.
Favorite Follow on Twitter/Instagram: @flowrestling.
Ideal Dinner Guest List: Barack Obama, Jordan Burroughs, Helen Maroulis, Sami Mescher and Ray Lewis.
Ideal Group To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse: Garrett Newman, Will Willis, Sam Johnson, John Ross Edwards and coach Jake Anfinson.
Items for a deserted island: Food, water, bed, pet otter and a knife.