MASON CITY — He has the focus. He has the talent. And he has that attitude that nobody is going to beat him. Cullan Schriever is everything you could ask a wrestler to be.
But after going undefeated and winning a Class 3A state title at 106 pounds as a freshman at Mason City, the target is on his back. Can anyone catch him, though?
“You just have to have the same mentality you did when you were trying to get to the top as you are now; you can’t sit around and get caught,” Schriever said. “You just have to stay on the gas and put up points.”
Schriever quickly turned heads at the high school level last season. Already an accomplished wrestler all through his youth, Schriever finally had his chance to prove what he could do as a prep, and it was perfection.
He finished 29-0 last season as nobody was really in his league. It led him to becoming Mason City’s first freshman state champion. So, how did he celebrate in the offseason? By getting back on the mat and grinding.
It wasn’t all roses over the summer, though, and he’ll even tell you that it was a bit of a rough one. However, the way he ended it was exactly what he was looking for.
Schriever made the trip down to Greensboro, North Carolina, for the Super 32 Challenge at the end of October, one of the top wrestling tournaments in the country. All he did there was blitz his way through his bracket to become the first champion from Iowa. It served as a little momentum so close to the high school season.
“I was battle tested,” Schriever said. “I wrestled the best guys, and that’ll help against these guys in Iowa.”
His goals don’t change this time around, but why should they? As FloWrestling’s top-ranked wrestler in the country, the expectation is for the state titles to keep coming.
Schriever doesn’t pay too much attention to that, though. His only focus is getting better.
“I want to get bonus points every match,” he said. “I don’t want to keep any close matches and I don’t expect anyone to score with me.”
As high school practice kicked off last week, his coach Dusty Rhodes saw the same fire in Schriever that made him a state champion.
“I know what his goals are and I don’t see it being a mismatch with what could be reality,” the coach said. “They way he approaches competition, it’s different. He’s a high-level kid and he expects to do well. He has high expectations and he’s his own worst critic.”
With Schriever in the fold, plus every the Mohawks have back, Rhodes expects some good things from the Mohawks this season.
Cullan’s brother Colby, who will wrestle at 126, was one win away from placement at last year’s state tournament. Both Cullan and Rhodes expect big things out of Colby this year.
Luke Deinhart returns for his senior season and is slotted in at 152, Evan Craw, a senior, will be at 170, Jeff Shurtz has dropped down to 220 after serving as the 285 backup last year, and junior Troy Monahan will hold down that heavyweight spot. Rhodes also said to keep an eye on freshman Christian Rodriguez at 120.
“We’ve got a lot of kids who have done a good job, worked hard over the offseason, and they look pretty good,” Rhodes said.