Bettendorf's Griffin Liddle is no stranger to the varsity level. Whether it's football or wrestling, the Bulldog sophomore to be, made his mark last year in both. While one of the top football prospects in the state of Iowa, he was also able to finish in the top six at the state wrestling meet.
"Football helped me out a lot because I got to see the physicality of the football players on the line and those, most often times, were the heavyweights. Most teams that we faced I went against one of their heavyweights. It was a good look of the competition I would see in wrestling."
Liddle made an instant impact during the football season for Bettendorf, but he was aware that wrestling would have a transitional period before being at the level he wanted to be at.
"It was a ride switching over from middle school to high school and it was just a different atmosphere because the guys were bigger, faster, and most were quicker. A lot of them knew what they were doing because they were all coming back from their first year or second year, and many were seniors. They all knew what they were doing at heavyweight and I was more transitioning to heavyweight. I had to get use to not doing as much as I would usually do in a match."
While Liddle went through some early season up and downs it didn't take long for him to find his groove during the wrestling season.
"I had some bumps at the beginning because I just was use to wrestling heavyweight. The middle point of the season I just started catching on to the style of wrestling you do at heavyweight. It just clicked. It clicked for me at the Kansas City meet. I did pretty well there. How I was wrestling there felt good and I just didn't want to stop."
Liddle had one of the tougher districts in the state when he earned his first state tournament appearance. It wasn't long before the freshman was waiting to wrestle for a chance to be in the state finals.
"I was wrestling the number one kid, and he was nationally ranked. I was just really looking forward to it, and I knew it was going to be a good match for myself. I knew that I had just as much of a chance as anybody else in the country to win it. I just went out there and it didn't work out for me but it was a really good learning experience. Learning how to wrestle really good kids, and to perform under a lot of pressure."
With his first season under his belt and a medal around his neck Liddle has goals and a mindset that will be hard to beat.
"By the time I'm done I want to say that I was a four-time place winner, and hopefully I can look back and say I was a three time state champ, but I'm going to take it one match at a time."