Senior wrestlers return to state this weekend

“Strength In Numbers” is the slogan of the Golden State Warriors NBA team, but it’s one that rings true for the Cary-Grove Trojans this year, as well.

The football team brought home a state crown in November. 

The gymnastics team is set to compete for a state crown. 

The CG Buddies basketball team is set to compete for a state crown in March.

The speech team will compete for a state crown this weekend.

And now, this weekend the wrestling team is set to compete for a state crown. 

The wrestling team will make their fifth trip downstate under Head Coach Will Peterson, an impressive run of success. The last time a CG wrestler won a title was in 2015 under former Coach Ryan Ludwig.

While they want to return home with some hardware, the goals for the experienced head coach and his team are focused on the steps it takes to win a trophy.

“Our goals are for them to have the right mental mindset to go out there and dominate match number one,” Coach Peterson said. “You really want to focus on that first match and just go out there and be the best version of [yourselves].”

Coach Peterson’s focus on mindset will resonate with the two senior wrestlers who are heading downstate, who have the advantage of being there before.

“Being seniors and going down to the state series two years ago, and seeing what the atmosphere [was] like will help them be mentally prepared to compete on one of the biggest stages there is in high school sports,” Coach Peterson said. 

The last few years have certainly been tough on everyone, so Coach Peterson believes that coaching another state tournament is a pretty awesome thing to have in these strange times. 

“It’s phenomenal. These kids have worked so hard, for so long, to have an opportunity to do something like this,” he said. “They lost that opportunity last year, and they have another opportunity to prove, not only to themselves, but to the state, that they belong as one of the best wrestlers, pound for pound, in their class.”

As he looks ahead to state and the seasons to come, Coach Peterson cites the will to win in any circumstance as something he learned from this season.

“Adversity. Things out of your control are bound to happen, and you have to find ways to continue throughout the season to make up that time,” he said. 

Wade Abrams, one of the two state wrestlers along with Rannin Gruen, has wrestled the weight of playing two physical sports in a short span really well. That is one of the reasons he is competing in a second state tournament in less than three months. 

“I have done it my whole life,” Abrams said. “I’m just kind of used to it. I’ve endured a lot on my body, but it hasn’t really affected me that much.”

Wade’s goal as a Cary-Grove athlete was “to finish off as strong as possible and be in state for both sports.” He has certainly achieved that goal. 

As a wrestler, Abrams’ feels he has learned a lot, including some new things that have helped him be successful every match.

“Every day I get better. I have recently gotten a lot better on my feet. I have gotten held down only once,” he said. For any athlete, getting better every day should be the goal. 

As said by the legendary Bruce Kay, “Today’s the Day!” We will see if this year’s wrestling group can make their day one to remember.