The Shaw family and wrestling have gone hand-in-hand for most part. The only exception came last year when Jared Shaw skipped out on his freshman season to switch over to basketball. It meant that he wouldn’t wrestle on the same team as his brother, Conner, a 173-match winner at Garner-Hayfield-Ventura.
Jared was a six-time AAU placewinner as a youth wrestler, but decided last year basketball was going to be his sport of choice in the winter. One season was enough, though, and he’s back on the mat.
“We have a good basketball team and I knew it’d be years before I’d be able to play varsity, so I said I might as well go out for wrestling and it can be my sport,” Shaw said.
The sophomore has stepped right back into the grind that is wrestling and has surprised those in the GHV program.
Coming into Saturday’s Class 2A district tournament at Aplington-Parkersburg, Shaw is 37-3, and has a sectional title to boot. In last Saturday’s sectional tournament at Clear Lake, Shaw earned a 13-7 decision over the Lions’ Rhys Glidden to win the 152-pound bracket.
“It means everything, and it’s nice since my brother was a pretty good wrestler and I kind of want to try to top him once in awhile,” Shaw said.
Getting here has not been a cakewalk. Shaw had to jump back into one of the toughest high school sports after basically missing a year of training.
It hasn’t always looked the best because of it, but his work to improve is what GHV coach Cory Jenniges is most impressed with.
“He’s still doing some things that he shouldn’t get away with, but he does,” Jenniges said. “Other than that, the work ethic is there, he’s very coachable and that’s huge, and he wants to win so he listens to you; he’ll take critiquing.
“Us as coaches had no expectations for him. We didn’t know what we were going to get out of him. He’s just been progressing every match and he’s just a smart kid. He tries to keep himself in good position, but he’s just a true competitor.”
Those are some of the trait he shares with his brother, Conner.
Conner, who was a state placewinner two years ago as a junior, rose through the ranks as well to become a top-5 wrestler as a senior. Heartbreak struck him, though, in last year’s district tournament as he failed to advance.
In watching him for years, Jared has taken plenty of notes from one of his role models.
“It makes me want to try to go there and try to be as good as him,” Jared said.
Even with a pile of wins this season, and a sectional title in the bag, Shaw is still able to put things in perspective.
“I just have to keep working hard, and this doesn’t mean anything if you don’t go to state,” he added.