Posted: Wednesday, 20 February 2013 4:06PM

Athlete of the Week: Nixa wrestler Joe Velliquette

With a State Championship on the line, Nixa’s Joe Velliquette had been wrestling for eight minutes through regulation and two overtime periods with still no score.

“I was kind of hoping it was over,” Velliquette said. “I was exhausted. I wanted to get out of there.”

But he stayed in and faced an ultimate tie breaker in his 126-pound championship with Waynesville’s Lemuel Johnson.


Velliquette chose to be on top for the deciding frame in which he either had to hold Johnson down for 30 seconds or lose the title bout.

Velliquette was able to hold on and claim the title.

“When he started to get a little fatigued and some of that adrenalin wore off, his basic motor skills took over,” Nixa coach Dustin Martin said. “He was being aggressive and taking shots.”

It wasn’t the first time the wrestlers had been locked in a dramatic duel. The two wrestlers split one-point decisions earlier in the season.

“I have been on teams with him and his brother and I have wrestled a lot with them. I always respect them,” Velliquette said. “Whenever it goes into that (overtime) it is totally personal. I just want it more than him. We are just competitors trying to win.”

And Velliquette has been on top before. He won at 106 pounds last year before bulking up this year.

“I hit the weights extremely hard this summer. I feel natural at this weight class. I feel just as good as I did last year,” Velliquette said.

Velliquette is just a junior, so next winter he will chase his third state title.

Filed Under :  
People : Dustin MartinJoe VelliquetteLemuel Johnson
Photo Galleries

Pictures: Glendale 1, Nixa 0

Glendale's keeper Kinda Lierz scored the only goal to lift the Lady Falcons over Nixa.

Pictures: Mount Vernon 21, Aurora 2

Mount Vernon improves to 4-0 in conference play

Pictures: Neosho vs. Ozark

The Wildcats and Tigers met in Ozark on Thursday
O-Zone Opinion
10 improved and surprise spring sports teams
In honor of giving spring its fair due, we take time out like we did in basketball season to highlight the spring's most improved/surprise/overachieving/under-the-radar/whatever-you-wanna-call-it teams. As a general rule, this list won't include...
Read More
Mohawk Chronicles: Breaking down the new boys basketball districts
It's that time again… Every two years MSHSAA reshuffles classes and districts, unintentionally and yet effectively changing the landscape of the sport and this spring was no different. Here are the changes you will want to note for the boys...
Read More
Making sense of the new girls basketball districts
Who do you have going all the way in your bracket? Your 2014-15 high school district basketball bracket, that is. Last weekend, MSHSAA released classification and district assignments for the next two school years. We saw notable changes in most...
Read More
Most Viewed