OSAGE | As the one and only senior on the Osage Varsity Wrestling team, 18-year-old Chris Schneider has found himself in the position of captain, in his first year as a member of the varsity squad.
Schneider, who wrestles in the 182 and 195 weight classes, joined the wrestling team three years ago, as a sophomore. He is a former track and basketball player, who was also a member of the Osage football team.
“I just wanted to try something new,” said Schneider of what drew him to wrestling. “I found it to be a lot of fun.”
Despite having no plans to wrestle in college, Schneider does have a personal goal for the year: to end his final season with the Green Devils at .500 or better.
With thoughts of potentially majoring in turf-grass management at Kirkwood Community college, Schneider is already looking ahead to his future after high school. Carrying with him ideals learned on the mat and during training, Schneider has learned the importance of preparation and striving hard to be better.
“Wrestling has taught me that somethings might not be the funnest, but in the end, they pay off,” Schneider said. He attended a four-day University of Iowa wrestling camp over the summer in order to improve his techniques before his final season.
“It showed me the level of competition that was out there,” Schneider said, “and what I have to do to be good. That’s what I took away from the camp.”
Though he cited practices as involving lots of moments, he hasn’t found it difficult to make and maintain weight for his matches or to keep up with the daily grind of training.
“It’s not very difficult,” said Schneider of a typical workout day, “not as long as you are in shape."
While Schneider still has many more matches ahead of him this season, he expects his toughest matches to come from those who are higher ranked than him and who have been wrestling longer.
“Gabe Irons from Lake Mills was my toughest opponent so far,” Schneider said. Irons placed eighth at state as a junior. “Just the fact that he’s been wrestling for many years and is so good at it really makes him tough.”
Though part of a young team this year, Schneider hasn’t allowed his position as senior or captain to be a distraction to him.
“I really don’t notice it at all,” Schneider said. “I’m there to wrestle. I just know that if we keep working hard we’ll get a lot better.”
Schneider cited the team goal as being to gain experience and to improve their skills, with the most experienced members of the team being juniors, Brody Roll and Mitchell Schotanus.
“We want to have a good season,” Schneider said. “We’ll need to work hard to do it.”