Waverly's Wolcott has big expectations
Most people will look at Ryan Wolcott's season and see it as a huge success.
He is 30-0. He just won the IAC and Section IV, Class B championships.
He has wins over some top notch wrestlers and he is well on his way to a third straight trip to states.
But, that's not the goal for the Waverly star. The goal is much bigger than that. The goal is to be wearing gold when the season is over.
"Things are going pretty good," Wolcott said. "But, I need to work harder for my ultimate goal of being state champion."
The Wolverines standout has been to states in back-to-back years, but both times he left without any hardware.
He is not planning to let that happen again this season.
"The last two years I have been there, and I won two matches last year, but I haven't't placed yet," Wolcott said. "I don't want to just place, I really want to be on the top of the podium on February 23."
Right from the beginning of the year Wolcott knew that he was wrestling well, starting with an early-season victory at Rams Duals against Wyalusing's Dylan Otis, a regional qualifier last year.
"He's a really solid kid and I knew coming in that I was going to face him," Wolcott said. "I knew I had to work a little harder after that, it was a 4-1 match and I knew I had to get a little more offense."
Wolcott also picked up a victory over nationally-ranked Nick Lupi this season, a state medalist in Division I last season.
"That helped a lot," Wolcott said. "He's a solid kid and I wrestled really good. Beating him definitely gave me confidence that I can get to where I want, which is to be state champion."
All season long Wolcott has moved around in the lineup to make sure he matched up with the best wrestler possible in matches.
"It helps at the end of the year to see where you match up when you wrestle good kids," Wolcott said. "Wrestling 30 second matches doesn't really help you much."
At times Wolcott has jumped from his normal weight of 220 up to heavyweight to try and get better competition.
That jump also often means working against an opponent that can have a number of pounds advantage on Wolcott.
"It definitely helps to wrestle them," Wolcott said. "It makes you move a little quicker. They are stronger so it helps to work on that."
After getting to states two straight years and seeing other kids go home with the medals, it has helped Wolcott to understand what it takes to be a champion.
"It's hard, especially when you wrestle kids and beat them and they win medals. You have to wrestle hard every match," Wolcott said. "You have to treat every match like it's the state final."
With the Section IV and state championships remaining Wolcott is still perfect on the season and an unbeaten season is something that has crossed his mind.
"It's there, coach doesn't want me to think like that, he just wants me to keep working," Wolcott said.
Part of the reason Wolcott thinks about his unbeaten season is because he has a mindset of being the best in the state.
"Every match for me is the state final," he said. "I don't want to lose, I wrestle every match like it's the biggest match."
WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
Austyn Bostwick of Waverly captured the title at 138 pounds at the Section IV, Class B Championships on Saturday.
In order to win the title Bostwick defeated Maine-Endwell's Zak Garrehy, avenging an earlier season loss.
Bostwick was the second seed at the weight and Garrehy was the top seed.
Bostwick got out to a 7-0 lead in the match and won, 12-3.
Waverly and Tioga's top wrestlers head to Binghamton for the Section IV Championships, looking to earn a trip to states.
The best bet for Waverly is Wolcott, who will be the top seed at 220 with a 30-0 record.
Brandon Ellers, with a 28-6 mark at 160 and Bostwick, who is 25-10 at 138, also will be in contention.
The top threat for Tioga is Jesse Manuel who is 31-7 at 138.
Other wrestlers for Tioga who enter with 20 or more wins on the year are Luke Hoose at 152 (20-17), Dan Hosking at 126 (22-12), Zach Kelsey at 285 (23-12), Mike Melella at 195 (21-14), Christian Richter at 182 (27-9) and Kaleb Stone at 120 (26-12).