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Thompson off to a strong start

Rugby wrestler has 14 wins

December 30, 2009
Matt Mullally

The plan was for Wyatt Thompson to wrestle at 135 pounds for Rugby this season, but when a teammate couldn't keep weight at 130, the junior moved down to fill the spot.

And Thompson isn't going to give it up anytime soon.

He's been the top wrestler so far this season for the Panthers, posting a 14-2 record and two tournament titles to his credit.

"I was hoping to get off to a good start, but I'm a little surprised where I'm at so far,' Wyatt said.

He's quietly emerging as one of the top wrestlers at 130 in the region.

"Wyatt is a kid that just goes about his business on the mat,' said Rugby coach Ken Higbee. "He doesn't show a lot of emotion and he's not a showboat type of guy."

Thompson doesn't show a lot of emotion on the mat and prefers a patient style.

"I really don't like to go fast right away, but wait for things to happen,' he said.

That approach has served him well and Wyatt's waited for the right opening to get the upper hand and most of his victories have come by pin.

Preparation is so important in wrestling and it's the practice room where wins and losses are often determined.

"That is where you get your conditioning and where you work on different situations that come up in a match,' Wyatt said.

He's been a student of the sport for many years, watching two older brothers - Brian and Kelly - compete. Wyatt and his twin brother Garrett, who competes at 140 pounds, have been wrestling since grade school.

"It's a team sport, but also an individual one,' he said. "I like that."

Wyatt qualified for the Class B state meet a year ago, finishing with a 1-2 record at 125 pounds. A return trip to the state meet is among his goals this season, but he would also like to place fifth or better.

Thompson knows he has a lot of work ahead in the second half of the season to reach it. His good start surely means fellow region wrestlers have taken notice of his talents.

"It's going to be tougher (the second half), but I'm looking forward to it,' he said.



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