Cox Continues Winning Streak
COLUMBIA -- It's not often someone has the chance to be the best at something, but if J'Den Cox finishes his senior season the same way he did the past three. He'll pin the right to carry the tag of best wrestler in Columbia High School history.
Hickman's J'Den Cox won a State Championship in 2010, 2011, and 2012, but wrestling didn't start out so easy.
"My first 13-26 matches I lost badly... very badly," Cox said.
The last time he left a state tournament disappointed, he was seven years old.
Cox said, "I've lost one match at state. That was my very first year I was able to go and I was in the finals and I took 2nd."
Now the magic number is four, as in four state titles...something no wrestler from Columbia has ever done before.
Hickman wrestling coach JD Coffman said, "I''m aware that the best I've had is a couple two-time state champs. So, this is very special."
"A lot of people say I'm supposed to win, but you never know what's going to happen. I always go by the quote if you want to make God laugh... tell him your plans," said Cox.
The plan for his hair usually includes some purple and gold dye...but this year will be different.
Cox said, "I'm not coloring the hair this year. I'm going to relax it like we do for Nationals."
While the hair is different, the headgear is always the same. Cox uses the same one his uncle phil arnold did to win state titles at hickman more than two decades ago.
"It has my Uncle's state titles on it," said Cox. "It has 1990 and 91 titles stamped on each side."
Cox will continue to call Columbia home in college. He chose Mizzou instead of a chance to workout at the Olympic Training Center.
Coffman said, "If he got hurt at the Olympic Training Center there might not be a scholarship to wrestle collegiately. He can still go get his education and wrestle at the Olympic Trials."
"I just made my pros and cons list and thought about it. MU just seemed the place for me. Plus, the OTC is always going to be there," said Cox.
Cox carries confidence and he should, he hasn't lost a match since his freshman season.
Cox said, "Cockiness and confidence... you know there's only one thing that separates that... there's only one thin line and that's cockiness you talk about how good you are. Confidence, you just do it."
"I've seen some pretty good ones." Coffman said, "he's the best I've ever seen."
Cox needs to make a big decision before he goes to state this season: will he wrestle in the 220 pound division or heavyweight? He's done some of both this season.
Cox has a streak of more than 100 straight wins in head to head matches.