Wells senior Mike Wrigley stands on top of the podium on Saturday. DAVE CASH PHOTOGRAPHY

Wells senior Mike Wrigley stands on top of the podium on Saturday. DAVE CASH PHOTOGRAPHY

WELLS — Wells senior Mike Wrigley had one major goal entering the 2017-18 wrestling season — finally get to the top of the podium at the Class B State Championships.
The standout had accomplished pretty much everything during his high school career, but his first two trips to the state finals had ended with losses.
That would change on Saturday as Wrigley would finally grab a gold medal.
“It was great … it’s not the best feeling in the world coming up short of your goal two years in a row. It’s been a long time and it’s good to finally get a state championship,” said Wrigley.
Wrigley took down Dirigo’s Dalton Berry by a 9-7 score in the 195-pound finals to secure his first state gold.
“My underlying goal was for Michael to win states this year. He deserved it,” said Wells coach Scott Lewia. “He’s worked really hard and he came up short the last two years. I really wanted him to win a title, he just deserved it.”
Wrigley was happy he got to celebrate with Lewia and the rest of the coaches who helped him get to this point.
“That was great. It was a goal of his to finally get me one and it was great to hug him and (assistant coach Jim Worthing). Those are the guys that have brought me along for four years, and finally got me a state championship,” Wrigley said.
The senior knew the state title was not just going to be handed to him because he was there for the third straight season.
“I knew going into the match that it was going to be a tough match because obviously it’s the state finals and you don’t expect to go out there and pin him,” said Wrigley. “I just wanted to go out there and score a lot of points. It worked out, I scored (9 points) and you’re probably not going to lose a match if you score (9) points, that was my thinking so I just went out, got the gameplan done and came home with a state championship.”
Wrigley, who is third on the school’s all-time wins list with 152, entered his senior season determined to just put in the work and believe good things would come.
“This whole year I’ve been putting my head down, working hard and I finally got to the goal that every wrestler sets for themselves at the beginning of the season,” Wrigley said.
While Wrigley was thrilled to finally get his individual title, the senior was even more proud to bring home the team championship for the second straight season.
“I think the team championship actually feels better because you get to celebrate with your team,” said Wrigley, who became the second wrestler in Wells history to record 100 pins with a fall on Saturday. “Your whole team worked hard all year, it’s not just you, and it’s great to be the best Class B team in the state.”
It was also special to win both the individual and team title in front of the Wells fans.
“You could definitely tell the difference when a Wells wrestler (won) at any point during the day and any other wrestler. There was a lot of people there, a lot of Wells people and it was great because this town loves the sport. You can definitely feed off the energy and feel the energy, and not just for the finals but all day,” said Wrigley. “It was great to win in front of all those people. The peewee team came and we got to see the young kids who will be there in a few years, so that was great.”
Wrigley is hoping he and the current varsity wrestlers can be role models for the youth wrestlers in Wells.
“It’s huge. Obviously the peewee coaches feel the same way because they wouldn’t have brought their team there if they didn’t think that it would help,” said Wrigley.
The senior is looking to extend his wrestling career for at least another week when he competes in the New England Qualifier at Nokomis Regional High School on Saturday.
“(I just want to) go out and wrestle the same way I did this weekend and hopefully qualify for New Englands,” Wrigley said.
— Sports Editor Pat McDonald can be reached at [email protected] or at 282-1535 ext. 322. Follow the Journal Tribune Sports Department on Twitter @JournalTsports.


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