(Moville, IA.) - It doesn't get easier. Just tougher.
But for wrestlers like Beau Klingensmith, he expects it. Only a sophomore heading into his junior year at Woodbury Central, Moville, IA., already has two time state place winners under his belt after last season. He lost in the state finals to Aiden Noonan of Cascade. This time around, Beau will move up from 113 to 126. The son of Jeff and Candy Klingensmith has his summer's training mapped out.
At the time of this interview in early June, Beau was in training for a freestyle national tournament in Fargo, ND, July 12-19, 2019. "That helps me a lot [in wrestling during the off-season] because the coaches who work with me teach me a lot." Going to tournaments and having great coaching (WC head coach Jake Thomas, Jordan Bremer, and Swift/Underwood H.S. coaches Jake Head, Joe Stephens, and Jeff Zeigler) available has them breaking down every move.
He knows how to wrestle, he's prepared to wrestle, but there's always more techniques and moves. Even if you are knowledgeable about the latter and have been exposed to moves and counter-moves, there's still more to learn and hone.
"My dad [Jeff] instilled in me the fact that high school wrestling is all about learning -- just like academics. Learn the basics, get them down, and later when you move up into more advanced moves, the basics you've learned will help you advance," Beau said.
As of now, he said, he does a lot of running and lifts weights. "My goal is to become stronger, faster with more endurance in order to meet the challenges of the 126-pound weight class." He does this pretty much on his own. His mother, Candy sets his running agenda for him, i.e,, when to run and how far, while Woodbury Central football coach Kurt Bremer has put together a solid weight training program for all the Wildcat athletes.
There’s more about wrestling, too… like what a wrestler learns from being on the mat.
“Character development is one,” Beau said, “while self-discipline is up there, too.” He said that another side of the discipline equation is coachability. When a coach instructs you, he said, “you work at what he’s instructed you as hard as you can.”
Gearing up his state of mind also plays an integral part of Beau’s make-up.
“That’s a big part of wrestling,” he said. One example he’s learned comes from the Penn State wrestling program.
“I’ve always been a fan of them, watched them from a kid onward. I watched them warm-up and noticed how they got themselves ready by staying focused. That,” he said, “carries over to the next day. Like when I lost in the finals at State. After that match, I was mentally broke inside. I thought about the Penn State wrestlers and their focus. The next day, I had regrouped and got back to work with a renewed commitment.”
In Beau’s freshman year, he took third place on the stand in Des Moines. Last season, Klingensmith took second place in the State finishing with a 44-6 record.
That leaves one spot left – first place.
“I’ve just put my mind into becoming better every day. My goal is to be quality consistent in my moves and techniques.” Helping him is Beau’s coaches and teammates. He cited fellow wrestler, Wade Mitchell as a leader and inspiration. “We both have the same goals about improvement and winning.”
The SSA asked Klingensmith what he believed it takes to be a winner.
“I’d say it takes a lot of hard work,” he said. In fact, he pointed out, “I didn’t realize just how much hard work it takes especially in making it to the finals. It’s not just about making it to State, it’s about once you get there. That’s the ultimate test.”
The road to where he is today, he said, also takes in losing.
“In my freshman year here at Woodbury Central, I came to grips with handling my losses. Sure, you hate when you lose, but crying about it or throwing fits doesn’t solve the problem,” Beau said.
His father helped him on that score. “He [Jeff] told me before the season started that I would come up against those matches that would find me losing. You have to be mature about it,” the young wrestler said.
Through it all, Klingensmith said what’s paramount in wrestling is focus. No matter what the sport, as a young athlete there’s friends and social activities that make their way into the mix. How does he balance those things in his life?
With friends, he said, he’s upfront. “It’s sometimes hard. I mean, they’re your friends or your girlfriend, but in explaining my situation to them, I point out the importance of what I am doing, the hard work I’ve put into wrestling, and seeing my goals through on the mat. Because they are true friends, they understand and respect my endeavors.”
“That’s the hardest thing for me in wrestling. It means a lot to me to achieve and become the best. I’ve written my goals and direction on my mirror in my room. I want to be a State champion and hopefully make it to a Division I school. All of this takes dedication and focus.”
Making it to the top level, Beau noted, means going up against tough competition. “For the most part, there never is an easy match. They’re all hard, especially when you go through the regular season and then into the sectionals, districts and state. It gets harder and harder. There are opponents who work just as hard as you do and they want to make it to the top, too. So, there’s really no breathers along the way.”
With July, August, September and November ahead of him, Klingensmith’s work is cut out for him. He’s scheduled out in his training, camps and meets he’ll attend, all in preparation for the season ahead.
You can count on his being ready. His opponents can, too.