Senior Spotlight: Dylan Albrecht- Waverly-Shell Rock

By Joshua Swafford for The Predicament

When did you start wrestling? Who introduced you to the sport?

I started wrestling in kindergarten, and my parents got me into it.

Do you have any family who wrestled before you? How did they do?

My Dad’s cousin, Mark Albrecht, wrestled for Iowa Falls back in the day. Other than that, I’m the only wrestler in my family.

Did you catch on to wrestling quickly or was it a gradual process?

I would say that I caught on fairly quickly. I placed 3rd at Super Pee Wee State in kindergarten at 42 pounds.

What club did you wrestle for growing up and how would you describe your experience with the club?

I grew up wrestling for Waverly Area Wrestling Club. Bill Thompson was my first coach and it was awesome. I’m thankful to have had him as a coach.

What are a couple memorable moments from youth/JH wrestling?

Many memories came from youth wrestling, but some that stick out to me are getting pumped up for matches with my dad, traveling to nearby tournaments and getting better with my teammates. Junior High was awesome because that’s when I started to get close with Coach Meier.

Who were your wrestling heroes growing up?

Growing up, I always would try and imitate the Tony Ramos stare down, so I’d say he was a hero! When I was little, I really looked up to some of the high school wrestlers! Eric Thompson, Dylan Wrage, Mark Ballweg, and Cody Caldwell to name a few.

How did you finish at state tournaments in youth?

I did fairly well at state in youth state tournaments. In kindergarten I placed 3rd at SPW. In first grade I placed 5th at SPW. In 2nd grade I placed 6th at SPW. In 4th grade I placed 4th at USA state. In 5th grade I placed 4th at USA state. In 8th grade I placed 2nd at AAU state, losing to Nick Oldham in the finals.

How did you finish at the state tournaments you wrestled in at the HS level?

Freshman year I was a state qualifier at 106. Sophomore year I placed 6th at 120. Junior year I placed 7th at 120. Senior year I placed 4th at 126.

Was there ever a point in your career where you noticed yourself jumping levels and making huge strides?

I would definitely say that in between my 7th and 8th grade seasons I made huge strides. I went from a non-state qualifier to being an AAU state finalist. I gradually got better throughout high school as well.

Who were some of your toughest competitors in HS?

Some of my toughest competitors in high school were with Kaden Anderlik, Kyle Biscoglia, Drew Bennett, Brody Teske, Nick Oldham and Matthew Jordan. They all compete at such a high level and they all helped me improve.

Who did you have the best battles with?

I wrestled Kaden Anderlik many times throughout high school, and we’re really good friends outside of competition.

3A 126 was such a competitive and deep weight class this year. How did it feel to be one of the top dogs in that weight class?

It felt good to be near the top, but it would have been nice to be THE top dog. I have much respect for the guys ahead of me, and they will do great things in the future. I would definitely say 3A 126 was one of the deepest weights in any class or weight.

What are your wrestling goals now that you are moving on from high school?

My goals have changed from being a State Champion, to being a DIII National Champion! Wartburg is definitely the right place for me, because everyone has common goals and work ethics. I am excited to see how my wrestling evolves in the next four years!

How would you describe your wrestling style? Who would you compare yourself to?

I would describe myself as a more traditional wrestler. I like the traditional single leg, but I usually have some tricks up my sleeve as well. I would compare my wrestling style to Thomas Gilman with his pace and shots.

Describe the Waverly-Shell Rock wrestling team in one word:

Relentless.

Do you have any regrets from wrestling or did you leave it all out there?

I definitely feel like I gave it my all 100% of the time, so I do not have any regrets.

What other sports do you play and how have you done at them?

I played baseball my freshman year, and rugby my sophomore year! I loved them both, but wrestling is definitely my forte.

What are some of your hobbies besides wrestling?

My hobbies other than wrestling include, fishing, hanging out with friends, being on the water, and spending time with my family.

What is your favorite HS wrestling memory?

My favorite high school wrestling memory is definitely looking up at my family in the stands at Wells Fargo Arena after my matches and seeing how proud they were of me. Without the support of them, I would not be near the wrestler I am today.

What is some of the best advice you ever received?

Some of the best advice I ever got was to take it one match at a time. Don’t think about any other match other than your next one. Coach Meier constantly drilled that into my head and it helped a lot with my nerves.

Do you have any advice for up and coming wrestlers?

My advice to younger wrestlers would be that it doesn’t matter who you’re wrestling, approach every match like you know you’re going to win. Don’t wrestle scared.

Who were some of the most influential coaches you worked with at the youth and HS level?

A few of the most influential coaches I’ve had so far are Josh Meier, Eric Whitcome, Bill Thompson and Rick Caldwell. They’ve always been there for me and I know that I can go to them for anything.

Waverly-Shell Rock is one of the best and most consistently good Iowa wrestling programs of this millennium. How proud were you to be part of such a great squad? How much did that team state championship mean to you?

Getting to wrestle with ‘Go-Hawks’ written across my chest meant the world to me. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. There is such a rich history of wrestling in Waverly, and it is something that means a lot to a ton of people. Getting to be on a State Championship team was one of the greatest feelings in the world. All of our hard work paid off, which was amazing.

What are your college plans? Is wrestling in your future whether it be competing or coaching?

I will be staying in Waverly and attending Wartburg College. I will be wrestling there and I’m so excited. I plan to major in Physical Education and coach along with it.

What is the future outlook for W-SR wrestling?

Waverly-Shell Rock wrestling will continue to get better and has a very talented team returning. I am excited to see how well they will do next year.