PORT BYRON -- Terry White can easily tell you why he wrestles but struggles to find a reason why he dislikes it so much|
Admitting he started wrestling three years ago to be with friends and stay in shape for football, the Riverdale 182-pound junior rarely sees any other positives. All of that makes it even more of a challenge explaining how White qualified for this week's Class 1A state meet.
"I don't know what it is," White said. "I couldn't quite put a finger on it."
Through all the agony wrestling brings his way, White has success.
He carries a 29-1 record with a regional title and third-place sectional finish into the Assembly Hall as he tries to bring Riverdale a state medal for a seventh consecutive season.
A conclusion that is inching closer to reality never reached White's mind when he started wrestling as a freshman.
"I just didn't think I had enough drive for it," White said. "But I've always had a competitor in me."
There's the explanation of why White can be successful in a sport he does not enjoy.
"He's a competitor and that's what he does," Riverdale coach Lance Sherman said. "He's an athlete, a natural athlete who is gifted. Whatever he does, he's going to succeed."
Actually, White has succeeded with wrestling. He said "tackling and driving my feet" have improved on the football field, so wrestling has given him results.
Outside of that, he gets through each day in the room and on the mat.
"I enjoy the single meets a little bit, but that's it," White said. "I'm not a big fan of it, but I can see where people get the love of it."
White does not show love, but never indicates that he is not having fun.
"When he commits to something, he does it," Sherman said. "He does it 100 percent."
All the effort helped him reach his first-ever state meet.
Will wrestling at Assembly Hall change his perception of the sport?
"It possibly could," White said. "I've never been down there. We'll see what happens."
Sherman knows what could.
"I've seen him in football and wrestling," Sherman said. "I know what he can do. I know what he's capable of. He hasn't reached his full potential yet."
If that happens, he could earn a state medal.
"That's up to Terry," Sherman said.
So a sport he does not enjoy could give White some state hardware. Could be a pretty cool ending to an interesting story.
"It's not an accident," White said. "There was a lot of hard work put into it."
Erie, IL Details
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