Athlete of the Week: Trevor Pankratz

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Oconto Falls senior captain focused on reaching state

Athlete: Trevor Pankratz

Sport: Wrestling

School: Oconto Falls High School

Year: Senior

Just over a month into the season, the top wrestling teams and individuals are starting to distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack. Senior captain Trevor Pankratz is among several individual wrestlers at Oconto Falls High School that are off to strong starts this season.

Pankratz owns a 14-3 record to this point of the season, mostly wrestling at the 170-pound weight class.

At the E.H. Stech Invitational on Dec. 14 and 15, he finished with a 4-1 record in the 170 class. He pinned his first opponent before winning a decision. After a decision loss, he bounced back with a couple of close decision wins to claim third place.

Q: When did your interest in wrestling begin?

A: When I was in third grade.

Q: What’s your favorite part about a wrestling match or the wrestling season?

A: Hearing the crowd cheer at our home wrestling meets.

Q: How did you train for the wrestling season?

A: I went to a four-day wrestling camp in Madison.

Q: What is your biggest individual goal this season and how do you plan to reach it?

A: My goal is to make it to state — to get to that, I need to work hard in every practice.

Q: What’s your favorite memory of competing on the Oconto Falls wrestling team?

A: My freshman year my first match at 126 on varsity was against Little Chute and a lot of fans came to watch. I was like the second match of the night, I ended up beating my opponent and the whole crowd from Oconto Falls was cheering for me.

Q: Do you have any pre-game rituals?

A: No, just relaxing.

Q: What serves as your motivation on the wrestling mat?

A: My team. Because we wrestle as a team more than we wrestle for ourselves.

Q: Do you look up to any particular athletes? If so, why them?

A: I always looked up to my youth coach Dale Steffenhagen.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do when you are not in school or competing in a high school sport?

A: Hunting or fishing.

Q: Favorite TV show, movie and musical artist?

A: “The Ranch” — TV show. “Talladega Nights” — movie. Upchurch — musical artist.

Q: Name one thing about yourself that not many people know.

A: I hate scary movies.

Q: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

A: It will always get worse before it gets better