|Club||Thomas Mulhall||Season's Freestyle Club||Broadview Hts.||OH|
|High School||Todd Haverdill|
2014-15 Season - HS Varsity Record (22-9) with 13 falls, 2 TFs & 2 MDs; 13-0 in dual meet matches @ 106/113 lbs.
2014-15 Season - went 4 - 0 @ Detroit Central Catholic National Super Duals (3 falls); In addition also competed & won matches @ 3 other national tournaments - Ironman, Beast of the East & Brecksville Holiday Tourney;
|Years wrestling||Wingspan||Bench Press (max)||Body fat %|
Won Division I High School State Dual Meet Team Championship - Brecksville
Recipient of 2014-15 Brecksville Wrestling Team Scholar Athlete Award for having highest GPA on wrestling team;
Everyone has a story. The story about my wrestling career really defines what makes me who I am today. Eleven years ago when I was in second grade, my mother signed me up for this sport called wrestling. My dad never wrestled, neither did anyone in my family except one of my uncles who is still a High School wrestling coach and was a two-time college All-American. So my mom signing me up was kind of random. For the next few years I kept improving at the sport of wrestling. I was winning matches, winning tournaments, and qualifying for states every year. It was not until my fourth year of wrestling in the fifth grade when I placed at states! I ended up taking fifth place, and I beat a lot of good wrestlers. I was on a mission to place at states again the following year. In sixth grade, I became a pretty well-known youth wrestler. I was winning almost every tournament I competed in, and I became very good. I made it to states again, and I was beating everyone in my weight class. I ended up wrestling myself into the youth state’s finals match. I ended up beating the wrestler I had never beaten before in a 2-0 match. I won the youth state championship. I accomplished my goal from the beginning of my career which I never thought I could do! But what happens now? Is that the entire story? The short answer is no. I knew my story was far from being over. I decided to test my mettle and wrestle in some national tournaments. I competed in the USYWA Elementary National Championships in West Virginia and finished 2nd. The following month I competed in the world's largest wrestling tournament, the Ohio National Tournament of Champions, where I finished 5th overall.
Now I was really looking forward to wrestling in junior high. I wanted to win junior high states. Prior to the season I traveled to Battle Creek, Michigan to compete in the Border Wars National Championship where I took 4th overall. Over Christmas break, I traveled to Charleston, West Virginia to compete in the Cliff Keen Eastern World Championships, where I finished 3rd. This next part of the story defines who I really am. In seventh grade, I ended up having a knee injury while I was wrestling. It was a season ending injury, so I never got the chance to wrestle in the junior high states my seventh grade year. The following year I could not go back into wrestling until about halfway through the season because of my knee. When I returned, it was obvious that I was not doing as well as I had been. While I ended up making it to junior high states and won some matches, I got knocked out without a placement. The following year was my first year of high school. I was only 92 pounds and although my knee had completely healed, I had a weight disadvantage. That did not matter to me, as I was going to wrestle. About a week into practice another wrestler some 20+ pounds heavier slammed me at practice and broke one of my ribs. I had to miss another season of wrestling because of injury. I considered quitting wrestling altogether but I knew I was not done so I decided to go back and wrestle the following year believing my injuries were over. Well, again I was wrong. In the first two weeks of my sophomore year I ended up breaking my leg wrestling, which was another season ending injury. Honestly, I do not know why I did not quit. After four straight years of injuries a lot of people would have just thrown in the towel and quit. Again, however, I knew I was not done with wrestling. Not only did I wrestle in post High School season tournaments, I gave freestyle wrestling a shot, and in my first year of freestyle wrestling I not only finished 2nd @ Districts and 6th @ States, I was selected to wrestle for the Northeast Ohio Season's All-star Freestyle wrestling team that competed at and won the State of Ohio Freestyle Dual Meet Championship in 2013.
I returned to wrestle my junior year. Luckily I did not get injured and for once my body felt great. My High School Junior year I wrestled both junior varsity and varsity, but come state tournament time I could not crack our own nationally ranked team's varsity line-up as the guys ahead of me were all nationally and state ranked. I did go 15-5 in my varsity matches winning one varsity tournament and placing in several others. I also went undefeated in Junior Varsity matches winning every JV tournament I entered. I went on to wrestle multiple post season tournaments and won every one of them including the OH-WAY HS State Championship in March. As Ohio's State Champion, I was eligible to compete in the NUWAY National Championship held in Battle Creek, Michigan, so in April I ventured to Michigan to compete. In my quarter-finals match, I faced and lost a close match to the Indiana State Champion. I wrestled all the way back through the consolation bracket to find myself in the 3rd place match against the same Indiana State Champion I had lost to earlier. Unfortunately, I once again lost a close match in overtime to finish 4th overall, suffering my only losses since Christmas.
This past year was my last year of wrestling in high school. As a senior I wanted to achieve something in wrestling. Perseverance, drive for achievement, and a love for the sport kept me wrestling through all the hard times. Wrestling taught me how to be tough from the pain of practice, discipline from managing my weight, and mentally strong when the hard times hit. I would not be who I am today without wrestling because wrestling is what transformed me into who I am. Little did I know I was going to need that mental toughness as the year progressed. Our Brecksville team was again nationally ranked with a state placer going @ 113, and national champions at both 120 and 126 pounds. Knowing it was going to be tough just to break in to our own line-up, and at my Coaches request, even though I was walking around at 125 lbs., I dropped down to wrestle 106 lbs. for our varsity team and made weight in every single tournament and match, although clearly not easy. Our Brecksville team wrestles arguably the toughest schedule in the country, starting the season with Ohio Division II State Runner-up Claymont and then launching right into our national tournament schedule @ the Ironman, Beast of the East, Brecksville's own Holiday Tournament, then the Detroit Central Catholic Super Duals, featuring 3 nationally ranked teams and Michigan's Division I, II, III and IV State Championship teams. Returning back to Ohio we went right into the 50 team Bill Dies Regional Tournament and then the State of Ohio Team Dual Championships pitting us against nationally ranked St. Edwards and nationally ranked and defending State Champions Massillon Perry. While I was glad I won matches at all these tournaments, my two proudest achievements this year was going 4-0 @ the Detroit Central Catholic Super Duals with 3 falls and an overtime win against a strong wrestler from nationally ranked St. John's HS in Michigan, as well as the fall I recorded against defending State Champion Massillon Perry in the State Dual Meet Championship, recording our teams only bonus points in our team's upset victory.
Unfortunately, as we know in wrestling, there are highs and lows. As exciting as it was to win a team state championship, I was primed to compete in the individual state championship, but it was not to be. Our team's state placer who wrestled 113 lbs all year and our team's national champion who wrestled 120 lbs. all year, decided to drop to 106 and 113 respectively for the individual state tournament. Based on their previous year's performance, they were awarded the varsity spots and I was out. As a Senior, I was permitted to challenge to earn my way back into the varsity line-up, in a 2 out of 3 matches wrestle-off. I won the first match 1-0 in triple overtime on a ride out. I lost the second match 3-0, and in the third and deciding match, I gave up a late take down permitting the match to go to overtime where I ended up losing on a ride out. Needless to say, it was and remains a difficult pill to swallow. I was ranked in the top 16 in the state most of they year at my weight class and was in the discussion to advance to states from districts. The Junior who knocked me out of my varsity spot went on to place 3rd this year at states following up on his 5th place finish last year. I was not able to compete in our conference championship even though I went undefeated in my career in conference dual meets and tournaments, and I was not able to compete in the State Tournament run, even though I could have wrestled for any other team in the state at either 106, 113 or 120 lbs. My only losses this year were to highly ranked opponents in large 50+ team national/regional tournaments and to a highly state ranked 120 lb. wrestler (+ 3 lbs.) when I was asked to jump two weight classes at the last minute to fill in for our 120 lb. wrestler.
The only difficulty in finishing this personal statement right now is because I do not believe my story is yet over. While I did not get the chance in High School to attain my goals, I believe I can compete in college and still feel my wrestling days are not yet over. While my wrestling story will end eventually, I am not ready for it to end. I still have the drive to compete and my personal disappointments and remaining chip on my shoulder motivate me to pursue wrestling in college. Having missed almost 3 full years of wrestling may be a blessing in disguise as I am still fresh and my body has not taken the beating most graduating senior wrestlers have gone through. My decision to stay in wrestling may or may not have been a good one, but it is a decision I do not regret. Wrestling has made me who I am today. No matter how my story ends, wrestling has sculpted me into the young man I have become. I am far from perfect, but I am proud of who I am because of the sport of wrestling.
I was selected to participate in the Kiwanis Service Leadership program by our School Administration to represent our High School at a conference attended by High School student leaders from all across the state of Ohio. The program endeavors to empower people at every stage of life to become competent, capable and compassionate leaders by helping them learn to help others. Through its Service Leadership Programs, Kiwanis enables its youth leaders to serve their communities, opening doors for them to change the world.
I am a Certified Hospice trained teen volunteer and have participated in multiple charitable fundraising causes.
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