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Talented freshmen shining at North Cedar
By Maranda Thurston, North Cedar senior
Dec. 26, 2016 12:36 pm
CLARENCE - Coaches get excited when they have several freshmen athletes, especially when they can contribute right away.
North Cedar's wrestling squad has two very competitive freshmen wrestlers - Tyler Thurston and Brody Hawtrey.
Thurston, who is wrestling at 160 pounds this year, went 43-8 during his eighth grade season and wants to make it to the state tournament this year. In his 11 years of wrestling, Thurston has gone to the state AAU tournament all but one year.
'I wanted to wrestle because everyone else in my family is good and I wanted to keep the tradition going,” he said.
Thurston plans to continue wrestling into college. His favorite memory over the years was getting first at state for the first time in first grade. His biggest influences are his uncles - Troy and Cory Musser - because Troy was a great wrestler, and Cory has been teaching Thurston since day one.
'Thurston has good mat sense,” North Cedar Coach Scott Kasik said, 'and quite a bit of experience for only being a freshman, which makes him one of the three or four complete wrestlers on the team.”
Hawtrey went 42-14 as an eighth-grader and was wrestling 132 this year until he injured his knee. In seventh and eighth grade, Hawtrey made it to state twice. He also has been wrestling for 11 years.
'Thinking about the sport and watching it since I was younger made me want to wrestle,” Hawtrey said.
He has thought about wrestling in college, but has to finish high school first, he said. His favorite memory is learning new moves and seeing the success coming in the near future. His biggest influence is his older brother.
'He was always helping me in any way during the season, and when it came down to meets and tournaments he was always there for me,” Hawtrey said. 'Win or lose.”
Assistant Coach, Scott Kasik said, 'There are at least five or six really good wrestlers,” assistant coach Scott Kasik said. 'There are some challenges Thurston will face. Tyler is a very experienced wrestler and has a lot of abilities, but with him only being a freshman, it makes it very hard for his strength to match up with his older opponents.”
Thurston and Hawtrey are proving themselves on the wrestling mat at every practice and meet and are living up to the team's motto - 'The only thing you deserve is what you earn!”