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CGHS wrestling celebrates a record year

CGHS wrestling celebrates a record year

By Todd Travis

It was a record year for Center Grove wrestling with three state championship wins, including the first female winner in the school’s history. Maurice Swain started coaching at Center Grove when seniors Hayden, Watson, Drake Buchanan and Anna Krejsa were freshmen. He attributes much of the team’s success to staying tight and focused on success over the last four years. “We know we wouldn’t have been able to do this without the support of the parents of the athletes, the athletic administration and the strength coach, Marty Mills, who has been tremendous with helping our athletes get stronger,” Swain said.

In addition to the three state winners, the team also had several other accomplishments. “This was the first time in school history to win the MIC (Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference); the team broke the championship scoring record with 297 points in that tournament, all 14 of the varsity athletes went to semi-state, seven of them went to state and four of them placed,” Swain recounted.

The athletes discuss their background and experiences leading up to the state championship.

Pictured from left, Center Grove High School Athletic Director Scott Knapp, Senior Anna Krejsa and Board President Joe Hubbard. The school board recognized Krejsa at its Feb. 7 meeting. (Submitted photos)

NAME: Anna Krejsa

YEAR: Senior

WEIGHT CLASS:126 (For nationals: 122)

What’s your background in wrestling? 

It really wasn’t a big thing for girls to do, but I resolved that it was something that I wanted to do, and it didn’t matter what other people thought about it.

What is your training regimen like?

Mainly, I go to Red Cobra, a wrestling academy in Avon, Ind. four times a week. I lift weights a lot. My brother and I also have a wrestling room at home, which is pretty nice, and we work out there just about every day.

What helped you reach such a high skill level?

Chad Red from Red Cobra and Coach Swain and our other coaches. I think the biggest thing was probably living with my brother. He’s really smart when it comes to technique. Being immersed with him and training every day helped put me over the top.

Was there any moment that helped ease the tension for you during the tournament?

Being the only girl on the team means that there’s no one else really to do a team huddle with. But my coach Matt Kelley and the other coach and I would huddle up anyway and do a break right before going out to wrestle.

How does it feel to be the first female winner at CGHS?

I’m so proud. I felt so much support from the school. Coming from a school who didn’t support me as much, I really felt the difference coming to CGHS that made me feel good. (Krejsa transferred to Center Grove this year.)

Hayden Watson won state this year, wrestling in the 145 lb. weight class.

NAME: Hayden Watson

YEAR: Senior


What’s your background in wrestling?

I started wrestling when I was 4. I started at Center Grove and wrestled for Greenwood. I wrestled for middle school when I was in elementary because they thought I was good enough, and my dad got to coach me there. I came back to Center Grove freshman year the same year Coach Swain started. I had a huge turning point in my wrestling when I decided not to focus so much on cutting weight and instead on getting stronger. I was able to wrestle at a higher level even though I was also wrestling against bigger opponents. I still cut a little bit of weight, but it’s not my prime focus.

What is your training regimen like?

I lift three to four times a week. In the off season I’m at Red Cobra Tuesday and Thursday and CIA (Central Indiana Academy of Wrestling) Monday and Wednesday. During season, I had one-on-one coaching with coach Red from Red Cobra.

What helped you get to such a high skill level?

Training all my moves at 100%. Doing things after practice to make sure all my skills are sharpened up and ready to go for the next tournament.

Do you have a mentor?

My dad. He’s been there every time, he’s taking me all around out of state, in state, everywhere I could possibly go.

What was the most exciting part of the tournament for you?

Going in there knowing I had the ability to win and just putting points on the board.

Drake Buchanan, right, won state this year, wrestling in the 182 lb. weight class.

NAME: Drake Buchanan

YEAR: Senior


What is your wrestling background?

I wrestled through the Center Grove School system all the way through high school.

What is your training regimen like?

During season I lift weights three time a week and practice every day. Later in the season I started lifting just two times a week and practiced every day. During the off season I would wrestle twice a week and spend time in tournaments and lift weights three times a week.

What helped you get to such a high skill level?

I switched from being a right leg lead to a left leg lead. A lot of people are used to seeing a right leg lead so when they wrestle against someone who is a left leg lead they’re not used to it. You can also use your sweep single to their lead leg and it’s a lot easier to get to that leg from that position. It was a big commitment, but it paid off.

What was the most difficult part of the tournament?

Cardio training. At practice, I might be not even able to stand up, but coach Swain would just say, “you gotta get up and do 15 more minutes of high pace.” Cardio can cover mistakes that you might make during the match, but you don’t get tired and you’re able to continue to work and come out with a win.

Who do you look up to most?

My dad. He values self-responsibility and placing value on your choices which I now place in high regard.

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