Posted Online: March 03, 2013, 9:51 pm

2012-13 Dispatch/Argus Metro Wrestling of the Year: Rock Island's B.J. McGhee

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By Daniel Makarewicz, danmak@qconline.com

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Photo: Todd Welvaert
Rock Island High School's BJ McGhee is the 2012-13 Dispatch Argus Metro Wrestler of the Year.
B.J. McGhee is the only wrestler in Rock Island history with a first-, second- and third-place state medal. Earning the state title came from him earning the other two.

"It motivated me to the point where I wanted to work even harder," McGhee said. "The second and third pushed me because I was always reminded me of it."

Third as a sophomore and a runner-up a year later, McGhee refused to accept anything less than a state title. Determined to end his career on top, he delivered when it mattered to win the Class 2A 120-pound state title with a 45-1 record.

On top of that, he was named the Metro Wrestler of the Year by The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus for the third consecutive season.

-What was it like winning a state title?
"When the clock hit seven (seconds left), I looked up and thought, 'Man, I'm going to win. All I have to do is not get taken down.' It was a dream come true."

-You got taken down once this season. How is that possible?
"That's how I train. I train to not give up a takedown. I know if I give up a takedown in practice, I know I might give one up in a match. I do my best to stay on offense."

-What's it like being the 22nd state wrestling champion in Rock Island history?
"It feels pretty good."

-You made history by becoming the first wrestler in school history with a first-, second- and third-place state medal. Did you feel like you accomplished what you wanted?
"I wanted to be at least a two-time (state champion) and I had a chance to be a three-time (state champion). But I don't take anything back. Those losses put me where I am today."

-What are your goals for the future?
"I'm going to Missouri (where he signed in November) with the same attitude. I'm going there knowing I can win and going in there with the same mindset -- always working my hardest."