When did you start wrestling? Who introduced you to the sport?
My dad got me into it after I got beat up in elementary school. He didn’t want me to be a push over when I was growing up. Wanted me to be able to defend myself and be tough.
Do you have any family who wrestled before you? How did they do?
Yeah but I never really met them growing up. I just heard about how they did and their crazy wrestling stories.
Did you catch on to wrestling quickly or was it a gradual process?
I got it pretty quick, but I didn’t like it as much when I was younger. I liked it more and more as I got older
What club did you wrestle for growing up and how would you describe your experience with the club?
I wrestled for a lot of different clubs as I got older. More important than the clubs themselves, the people I wrestled with helped me to like the sport more.
What are a couple memorable moments from youth wrestling?
The first time I made it to AAU state. Also, when my brother, Ville and I made it to state together. I also remember when we would go out to the middle of nowhere to wrestle.
How did you finish at state tournaments in youth ?
I never placed. I wish I took it more serious when I was younger. I felt like I would have had a better start at it going into high school if I would have taken it seriously at a younger age.
What are some of your more memorable moments from high school wrestling?
Throwing Ben Monroe and Brody Teske to their backs at the CIML tourney.
How did you finish at the state tournaments you wrestled in at the HS level?
I didn’t place. I felt like I didn’t have the right mind set going into the tournament.
Who were your wrestling heroes growing up?
Kyven Gadson, Nahshon Garrett and JB. I tried to base a lot of my style off them.
When I met you at the CIML, you were with your 106 lber, two time state qualifier Sophomore, Aime Mukiza. The impression that I got from you guys in our brief interaction was that you were both polite, nice people and along with this, I could tell that Aime really looked up to you and you looked out for him. So my impression was that you were the leader of the DM North-Hoover team. Is this an accurate observation? And if so, how would you describe your leadership skills and principles and do you feel that leading this team will help you in your future?
I was a captain on the DM North-Hoover team and we were more of a family than anything. I always tried to look out for my teammates in the same wayI would my brothers. We all have each other’s back.
Was there ever a point in your career where you noticed yourself jumping levels and making huge strides?
Yeah, this year I knew I was feeling good in the middle of the year and I was excited to hit the mat and I could hit Ville up to go wrestle or Killyan and we could get a good workout in whenever. I felt myself jumping levels when this started happening.
Who were some of your toughest competitors in HS?
Matt Jordan and Ben Monroe were definitely good competition. Brock Espalin from DM East as well. There was a lot of good competition.
What are your wrestling goals now that you are moving on from high school?
Win a title next year with my brother and try to be the best wrestler I can be.
How would you describe your wrestling style? Who would you compare yourself to?
I would try to wrestle more of an attack-heavy style of wrestling. I always want to be more on the offense side of wrestling.
Do you have any regrets from wrestling or did you leave it all out there?
I felt like I had more to give and I didn’t let it all out. I definitely could’ve worked harder.
What other sports do you play and how have you done at them?
I played football for three years. Eventually, I just focused on wrestling.
What are some of your hobbies besides wrestling?
Hanging out with my brother, Ville and doing new stuff with him or playing the game. I feel like I’m pretty good at Call of Duty.
What is some of the best advice you ever received?
Probably from my sister growing up. She’s who I had the most talks with. She told me that I can’t wish for something without doing something about it. If I want it, I gotta get it.
Do you have any advice for up and coming wrestlers?
Don’t say you want something without actually working for it.
What is your favorite style of wrestling? Folkstyle, Freestyle or Greco?
Folkstyle is my favorite. I can’t really throw that much for Greco/Freestyle, lol.
Do you feel the Dan Gable quote, “wrestling makes everything else in life easier” is an accurate quote? How has wrestling shaped and molded you as a person?
Most definitely. Wrestling has given me patience for so much. I am able to endure much more physical stress than someone who’s doesn’t wrestle.
Who were some of the most influential coaches you worked with?
Cody Swim, Leroy Cunningham and my dad when he tried.
What are your college plans? Is wrestling in your future whether it be competing or coaching?
I wanna wrestle as far as I can and work as hard as I can. I want to make a name for myself in the wrestling community.