Prep Wrestling

Xavier's Garrett Ries finds new role on wrestling team

HS journalism: Senior captain is not competing, but is helping

Xavier’s Garrett Ries (right), wrestling South Tama’s Pedro Rodriguez in 2017, gave up wrestling this year to focus on baseball and his health. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Xavier’s Garrett Ries (right), wrestling South Tama’s Pedro Rodriguez in 2017, gave up wrestling this year to focus on baseball and his health. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Giving up something one loves can be a very difficult decision.

South Dakota State baseball commit and Cedar Rapids Xavier senior Garrett Ries decided to end his wrestling career in consideration of his future baseball career and staying healthy.

It was not easy.

“Deciding not to wrestle was very hard for me this year because I did not want to leave this team,” Ries said.

Ries found out not long ago he has Spondylosis, a crack or stress fracture in a vertebrae. With an injury this serious, Ries had to find another way to be a part of the team.

“I try and make them have the most amount of confidence before going to wrestle,” Ries said. “Wrestling is by far one of the hardest and most mentally hard working sports.”

Ries was named a senior captain at the beginning of the season, so he decided to take on his role from the sidelines.

“One of my big things as a captain is to talk to the wrestlers after their matches and see how they think they did,” Ries said. “I help them with what they could work on and things like that. It is hard to do that without wrestling, but I am trying to make the most out of it.”

Ries has nothing but support from his teammates.

“I wish he was wrestling with us, but he is a great teammate no matter what,” Isaac Ball said. “Garrett is a great role model and inspires the younger guys. He is just overall a good person and someone you want to be around.”

Ball is one of the three senior captains, along with Ries and Patrick Chambers.

The Saints wrestle in districts on Saturday, at Waverly-Shell Rock starting at noon.

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