Corydon wrestlers come up short at semi-state
George Browning, Sports Writer. [email protected]
Corydon Central freshman Zane Schreck and sophomore Bryson Rowley represented the school’s wrestling program at semi-state last Saturday at Evansville.
Schreck, competing at 106 pounds, lost his first match to Brownsburg’s Logan Miller. Schreck finished the season with a 34-9 record.
Rowley competed at 113 pounds and lost his opening match to Castle’s Logan Sutton. Rowley finished with a 33-10 record.
To have two wrestlers competing at semi-state is an impressive accomplishment, considering where the Panther program was a year ago.
Corydon Central coach Regan Gusler said competing at semi-state was not only good for Schreck and Rowley, it was good for all the Panthers’ wrestlers.
“We were extremely pleased to get those guys to semi-state,” he said. “It’s such a great experience to wrestle at that type of venue before that kind of crowd. It’s easy to get kind of star struck. Hopefully, they will both make it back next season and be in a better position to advance. They both had extremely tough matches. We took a crew of non-qualifiers with us to see it, and, hopefully, next season we will get Schreck and Rowley back to semi-state with several more of their teammates.”
The venue Gusler is talking about is the Ford Center, which can be intimidating to those who’ve never experienced it. Schreck admitted that nerves factored into his match.
“I’ve wrestled a lot throughout my life and many different places, but being in a place like the Ford Center and wrestling in front of that huge crowd definitely topped them all,” he said. “I’m usually pretty good at staying calm and shutting my nerves out, but the crowd and arena got into my head a bit.”
Rowley said nerves weren’t as much of a factor for him.
“It wasn’t really that bad wrestling in front of a big crowd,” he said. “I was just focused on wrestling because I had wrestled similar situations with many people watching before.”
Neither Rowley nor Schreck said they were surprised by the success they experienced this year. The reason for the confidence was due to the amount of work both put in during the off season.
“I wasn’t really surprised by my individual success this season,” Rowley said. “I knew that since I worked so hard in the off-season that I would have a good high school season; wrestling over 40 matches in the off-season really helped me out.”
The thing that did surprise Rowley was how quickly the Corydon Central program turned around. The Panthers finished third in the Mid-Southern Conference and had a number of wrestlers advance out of the sectional round of the tournament.
“What surprised me was the team’s success,” he said. “We only had about seven wrestlers last year and up to over 15 this year. We had a lot of new talent come in.”
Schreck not only credits his off-season work for his success this year, he says his faith played into it, as well.
“Going into my freshman year, I was confident in my training from the past summer,” he said. “I was ready for the challenges that were ahead of me, and I planned from the beginning to wrestle into the post season. I say a quick prayer in my head before every match, and I truly believe my faith has helped me get where I am today.”
With this season in the rear-view mirror, it’s never too soon to start thinking about next season.
Both Rowley and Schreck have high hopes for what will be their junior and sophomore years, respectively.
“My accomplishments this year will definitely set the bar for next year, so I plan to top every one,” Schreck said. “This year was a good year, but my goals are higher than just qualifying for semi-state. I am proud of myself for what I’ve done, but I’m definitely not satisfied. This off-season is going to be a grind.
“I’m going to put in the little things that will make an exponential difference. From morning runs to intense weightlifting and drill sessions, I wrote all my goals down for my freshman season at the start and, although some are checked off, there are still empty boxes. This off-season and all of next year I will be working towards not just going to state, but bringing home a state title.”
Rowley is planning for similar success, as well.
“My goals for next year are to be a conference champion, sectional champion and maybe even a regional champion,” Rowley said. “I would also love to move onto the state-finals tournament. In order to do all of that, I have to work a lot in the off-season and focus on improving with the help of my great teammates and coaches.”