CEDAR FALLS – Cullan Schriever possesses a maturity far beyond his years.
That was evident just a few minutes after Schriever captured the 126-pound championship at the Keith Young Invitational on Saturday afternoon.
Sidelined by ankle and shoulder injuries that prevented him from winning his third state title this past February, the standout Mason City senior is back healthy again.
He’s not only back physically, but he’s just as strong mentally after bouncing back from the adversity he faced during his junior season.
Schriever is looking every bit like the elite prospect that he is. He is a Cadet and Junior Nationals champion who has committed to the University of Iowa. He’s ranked No. 1 in Class 3A and No. 8 nationally at 126 pounds.
Schriever won state as a freshman and sophomore for Mason City High School before breaking his ankle midway through last season on Jan. 4.
He had a cast on his ankle for five weeks before having it removed the Tuesday before districts. He qualified for state, but had to default to sixth place after dislocating his left shoulder in the semifinals.
His twin brother, Colby, is ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 3A at 145 pounds after placing second at the state tournament as a junior.
Cullan Schriever provided a candid and thought-provoking interview following his finals win Saturday at Cedar Falls High School:
What was it like to be back competing again?
It was awesome – it was fun being back on the mat again. I missed being out there. I just got cleared again to wrestle in early November, so it’s been a long process. This is the first time I’ve been healthy for a match since Christmas of last year. It feels great to be back.
How frustrating was it being out so long?
It was really difficult being out and not having a chance to wrestle. I was basically off the mat for 11 months with the broken ankle and then after I had surgery on my shoulder. After being out for so long, I really appreciate the opportunity to wrestle. It is fun being able to train and compete again. I’ve been practicing hard and doing the right things. I’m starting to get back to where I should be. I am just going to keep getting better as the season progresses.
You were on track to become a four-time state champion before your injuries. How did you cope with that and what new goals have you set?
It was really tough to miss out on the opportunity to be a four-timer. I can’t say it doesn’t bother me because it still does a lot. It’s something I think about every day. I’ve just accepted the fact that it’s never going to happen. I have bigger things and bigger goals ahead of me that I can focus on. For now, I’m just worried about winning my third state title and going out with a bang to finish my high school career.
How much are you looking forward to joining the wrestling program at the University of Iowa?
It’s really awesome to see what’s going on at Iowa right now. They’re ranked No. 1 in the country and they’re really an exciting team to watch. Every time I watch an Iowa dual meet, I get so pumped up. There are so many great things going on there and that’s exactly why I wanted to wrestle for the Brands brothers and Morningstar. It’s a great atmosphere to train in and compete in at Iowa. They have great coaches and awesome training partners. I can’t wait to wrestle for them. I’ve been dreaming of being a Hawkeye since I could stand up.
What is it like training and competing alongside your brother?
It’s been great. I’m really excited to see what he’s going to do this year. He really pushes me in the wrestling room. We make each other better. We’re both expecting to go out on top this year. If one of us doesn’t do it, it’s kind of like a failure to us. We’re both determined to finish our high school careers with state titles. It would be awesome to go out like that.