Senior reflects on his third straight State title

Seltzer dominates the competition; team finishes fifth


Jacob Leon

Just prior to his introduction to the crowd at Gainbridge Fieldhouse before his State championship match, senior Zeke Seltzer stands with his father, Mr. Brian Seltzer (left) and his head coach, Mr. Sean McGinley ‘88 (right).

The wrestling team competed in the State meet on Feb. 18 and 19 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The Irish, under the direction of Head Coach Mr. Sean McGinley ‘88, took fifth place overall with a total of 58.5 points. Of the seven wrestlers who advanced to the State meet, five placed in the top eight in their weight class.

Sophomore Jackson Weingart took seventh place in the 220-pound class. Senior J.J. Braun took seventh as well, in the 170-pound weight class. Sophomore Hosia Smith finished in fifth place in the 285 class and senior Evan Dickey placed third in the 113-pound weight class. 

The last of the wrestlers who placed was senior Zeke Seltzer, who came into the meet having won two straight State championships. Seltzer was striving for the three-peat, and that’s exactly what he achieved. Taking first place in the 132-pound weight class, Seltzer finished his high school career on top. 

After a successful season, Seltzer said he was satisfied with the result. He said, “It feels good. You know all the work I’ve put into my craft of wrestling and all my training, it feels good to end off my career with a State title.”

Coming into the season and leading up to the State meet, Seltzer knew that he was the one to beat in his weight class. He said, “I feel like I’ve always had a target on my back, especially this year, because there were some kids that talked themselves up, but I just stayed focused on what I could do and what I could control.”

Despite this target, Seltzer said he felt no added pressure going into the meet. He said he just focused on doing his best for his team and for himself. 

He also did not see a change in the competitiveness of the wrestlers he faced this year. Seltzer said, “I don’t think (my path to State) was more difficult. It was kind of weird because the kid who I wrestled in State last year, I wrestled in the semis this year, so it was a little tougher of a semis match.”

Seltzer used his experience under the lights and dealing with pressure to lead the younger wrestlers, specifically Weingart and Smith, who had never wrestled in the State meet before. Seltzer said, “I was always encouraging (the underclassmen). They’re so young and sometimes they get down on themselves for losing. I just comfort them and explain how they’re so young and their future’s so bright ahead of them.”

However, next year Seltzer will go from being a leader to a rookie. 

In June he committed to wrestle collegiately at Missouri, a prestigious program that has had eight national champions. Seltzer knows it will be an adjustment for him to move from high school to collegiate wrestling. He said, “I’m going to go to Missouri and it’s going to be tough. There’s a huge difference between high school and college wrestling. Winning three State titles is great in high school, but once you get to college, nobody cares about what you did in high school.”

Although a new situation awaits him at Missouri next year, Seltzer has the skill, experience and the confidence to succeed. He said, “I just need to keep striving to get better and stay hungry.”