Wrestling pins opponents at IHSA state

State Wrestling debrief

Julia Wasik, News Editor

On Feb. 14, 15 and 16 sophomore Joey Jens, senior Joey Murphy, sophomore Adrien Cramer, and senior Alex Cramer competed at the State Farm Center where the IHSA state competition tournament was held Jens, competing at 152 lbs, finished 1-2 DNP, losing a close first round match 4-3 to the 3rd overall placer finisher, Murphy 145 lbs. GCHS wrestling finished 3rd overall in their NLCC conference. 

Adrien Cramer finished 3rd, competing at 182 lbs, only losing in the quarterfinals to the state champ, Major Dedmond, who attends Freeport high school, losing 5-3. 

Alex Cramer finished as the state runner up, competing at 170lbs, losing in the championship 1-0. Cramer dominated his way into the finals with a 10-1 major decision in preliminaries with a 12-5 decision in quarterfinals, and a 12-3 major decision in the semi- finals.

Results of matches leading up to state include: 1st place at a Glenwood tournament, 2nd at Harvard, 2nd at Regionals and 6th at the Antioch tournament. Although it all seems simple on paper, the road to state came with a lot of extra hours. 

“You got to do a lot of extra work… so after practice I would do a lot of extra cardio workouts and weight lifting and staying disciplined on [my] diet too because when you eat good you feel good,” said Murphy, who has been wrestling all four years of high school. This, along with sometimes year-round preparation is how, coach Joseph noticed, state wrestlers become more prepared.

“Now a days sports have become so sports specific, that if your not putting in time in the off season your falling behind the pack.   Wrestlers like the Cramer boys wrestle year round, and it shows. We have several other guys that put in work during the Freestyle/Greco seasons (Spring time), and [wrestlers] can continue to develop skills in that time. Some of these guys are getting 50-60 matches in, in the off-season. That’s like a whole season of wrestling in the off season,” said Joseph. 

In order to withstand the constant and intense work put into- practice including keeping a healthy diet, working out multiple times a day, and year round practice, it is important to possess mental toughness and a good additude.

“You really just got to buy in and learn to love practice, which I finally did this year, because practice can be pretty tough…it allows you to get better…turning that corner of learning to like practice that’s really where state level wrestling comes in,” said Murphy. 

In addition, in order to reach the success of becoming a state wrestler you need to think like one, which is exactly what Jens, Murphy, Alex Cramer and Adrien Cramer did this year.