Senior Spotlight: Evan Yant, Waverly-Shell Rock

By Joshua Swafford for The Predicament


Senior Spotlight: Evan Yant, Waverly-Shell Rock

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

I started wrestling in kindergarten when I was about five years old. My parents brought home a letter for Waverly wrestling club and asked me if I wanted to do it. I was obsessed with WWE at the time and thought that’s what I’d be getting into so I said yes right away. Got the the first practice and found out right away that it wasn’t WWE but I stayed with it.

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

My Dad, his brother, and his dad all wrestled and were pretty good. My dad’s brother in-law, Randy Nelson also wrestled and is on the state placers wall in the Denver wrestling room. My mom’s brother also wrestled his Freshman  year.

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

My first tournament was the Waverly tournament and I got third and after that something clicked and I really got the hang it.

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

I wrestled for a number of clubs. Waverly Area Wrestling Club, Trophy Hunters/ PWC Trophy Hunters, Renegade Wrestling Club, and now Immortal Athletics Wrestling Club. I’d say my experience with all of these clubs have been amazing. I learned a lot and met a lot of great people through these clubs.

What are a couple memorable moments from youth wrestling? How did you finish at state tournaments in youth?

At Super pee wee I got fifth in kindergarten and sixth in second grade. I always qualified for AAU state but never placed until sixth grade and I got third. After that I placed third again in seventh grade and fifth in eighth grade.

What are some of your more memorable moments from high school wrestling to this point?

My most memorable moment from high school was probably last year when we won state. It was one of the best moments of my life and I will never forget it.

How did you finish at the state tournaments you wrestled in at the high school level to this point?

I finished sixth my freshman year, DNP my sophomore year, and got fourth my junior year.

Who were your wrestling heroes growing up? Who are your current wrestling heroes?

My biggest hero was and still is Jordan Burroughs.

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

I’d say when I started jumping levels was after I got second at Folkstyle Nationals as a Cadet.

Who have been some of your toughest competitors in high school to this point in your career?

I’ve wrestled a lot of really tough wrestlers in high school. The one person I really have a hard time with is Cody Anderson. We’ve wrestled quite a bit and all of them have been really tight matches.

Do you have a lot of fun watching Austin wrestle? Does he have a lot of fun watching you wrestle?

I really enjoy watching my brother wrestle especially because now he’s wrestling at the D1 level. I’ve always really enjoyed watching my brother ever since we were younger because I look up to him a lot and he is one of my hero’s. He also really enjoys watching me and he always helps me out.

What was your most memorable state tournament?

This last year was by far the most memorable.

What are your wrestling goals for this coming season?

My goals are to win state this year individually and as a team and I truly believe that can happen.

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

I would describe myself as a physical style wrestler. I like to get through people and pound them on top. My coaches say I’m in between Jordan Burroughs on my feet and Seth Gross on top because I’m really good in attack and a hammer on top.

Do you have any regrets from wrestling that you want to make up for as a Senior?

The biggest regret I have is probably not taking all the opportunities I could’ve had.

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

Used to play a lot but once I got to high school I dropped them all to focus on wrestling. I used to play soccer, baseball, and football.

What are some of your hobbies besides wrestling?

My main hobbies are hunting and fishing and that’s basically what I do when I’m not wrestling.

What is some of the best advice you ever received?

Just believe in yourself. I’ve lost a ton of matches just because I didn’t believe I could win. When you believe you can win and that you will win, you increase your chances by a lot.

Do you have any advice for up and coming wrestlers?

I would say take all of the opportunities you can get and you won’t regret it because I missed out on a lot that could have made me a lot better and I really regret it.

What is your favorite style of wrestling? Folkstyle, Freestyle or Greco?

I like Freestyle and Greco because I me it’s more fun and exciting.

Who were some of the most influential coaches you worked with?

Bill Thompson, Rick Caldwell, Bryan Krall, Chris Krueger, David Bonin, Cruse Jacob, Lee Roper, Tanner Werner, Grant Henderson, Brett Wheelan, and Eric Whitcome.

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

I’m undecided as of right now but I plan on wrestling.

What is the future outlook for Waverly-Shell Rock wrestling?

I think the future looks really good. We have a lot of really talented kids that are passionate about the sport so I think Go-Hawk wrestling has a very bright future.