UTICA — When one first sees Dylan Wheeler, he appears to be a studious young man, who would be more at home in the classroom than on a wrestling mat.
This 125-pounder, however, will be Utica’s sole representative at the OHSAA 2009 State Wrestling Championships, which start today at The Schottenstein Center in Columbus.
“I don’t really talk too much about it,” said Wheeler. “People ask me all the time, ‘How does it feel? Are you changing anything?’ I’m not. I’m not going in there with any crazy game plans or anything else.”
Wheeler is trying to focus on the job ahead, while keeping it in perspective.
“I think I have an advantage going into the state,” said Wheeler. “I am just happy to be here. My goal was just to make it; I am going to go in there and just wrestle my matches. I’m not going to change anything up. My goal right now is to win one and see what I can do then. I know I can hang with the state wrestlers. I just have to go out and prove to myself and others that I can.”
Wheeler’s quick reflexes and well-practiced moves can turn a match around on a dime.
“I’m more of a wiry wrestler,” said Wheeler. “You never know what I am going to do, because I am more dangerous from the neutral position I have a lot of different techniques I can do. I never do the same move over and over. I try to switch it up and catch people off guard.”
After defeating Jesse Cohen of Granville in the district (who had defeated him the previous week in the sectionals) to gain a state berth, Wheeler will not be going alone.
“My coaches will be there,” said Wheeler. “My friend and teammate [Utica wrestler] Pete Hughes will be coming along. He will stay with me until the end. We’re not changing anything up. He will be going where ever I go.”