The Saratoga Sun -

Everett nabs sixth

Saratoga wrestler executes game plan, goes to new level at State Tournament in Casper


February 27, 2019

Photo courtesy Zach Schmidt

Andrew Everett is all smiles as he stands on the podium having taken sixth place at State.

The Saratoga Panthers wrestling team went to State where senior Andrew Everett placed sixth in the 138 weight class. Head coach Zach Schmidt said he was incredibly happy with his grappler.

"What Andrew did in this last month was take part in a game plan-and he stuck to it," Schmidt said. "He peaked at absolutely the right time."

Schmidt said there was strong physical preparation put in by assistant coach Tom Stockwell. Schmidt said that Everett had wanted to get to the podium and looked to his coaches strategies.

"For him to go to Regionals and place at State he was going to have to go to places in his training and mind that he had not gone before," Schmidt said. "That was our message to the whole team. You were going to have to go to places you haven't gone before and you are going to have to put in the work."

He said all three seniors did it.

Everett was the one who was able to capitalize on it.

"This past week cumulative was the best Andrew ever wrestled," Schmidt said. "He was prepared for his first meet. Andrew did well his second time although he got pinned, we could see him getting confidence."

When Everett went into a blood round where losing meant you were gone, Schmidt said his wrestler was flawless.

"It says a lot about him," Schmidt said. "We gave him a game plan that he executed perfectly."

Schmidt said wrestling is very much a mental game. This is where he is proud of Everett, because he figured that out at the right time.

"Andrew was physically and technically one the best wrestlers in his weight class," Schmidt said. "He just had to figure out the mental. And that is what he did."

Everett agrees with his coach that all the hard work paid off in the end.

"It was an amazing accomplishment for me," Everett said. "It was my goal at the beginning of the season to place at state even though I didn't think it was going to happen."

He agrees that he peaked out at the right time.

"I always push myself in the weight room just to better myself," Everett said. "It just happened that I realized the body I was making could compete and I got confidence at the end of season and it paid off."

He said it was a great way to go out as senior.

Saratoga principal Darrin Jennings was also happy Everett placed.

"Andrew is so respectful and nice," Jennings said. "He is a gem, one in a million kids. So many athletes don't win with dignity or lose with dignity. Andrew does. He is a class act."

Trez Martinez who was wrestling at 126 did well until he hurt his shoulder. The injury stopped him from going further.

"We told him after he got hurt, as tough as it was, a month ago we were not even sure he would be able to suit up and then he came out and won his All-Conference honor and came close to placing with just one arm." Schmidt said. "He was able to go to regionals and did well in State until he got hurt. It never feels good as a senior to go out that way, but there is no question Trez gave it his all."

Schmidt said if Martinez had not been injured, he is convinced the wrestler would have been in the State finals.

"He was the spark plug of our team," Schmidt said. "He was the guy who you could count on to go out and give a performance that you needed. He was either going to be the guy that went out first and scored or he would be the one to stop the bleeding when we were down. He is a kid that isn't easy to find."

Tristan Gray, wrestling at 195, was in a tough weight class. Gray made blood round and wrestled well, but Schmidt said the kid from Lusk who Gray wrestled was difficult to score points on.

"Tristan placed at regionals for a third year and we are super proud of him," Schmidt said. "He has always been in the same weight class and he faced Hayden Walker, who is Wyoming Wrestler of the Year. Tristan was always in a really tough weight class and he has always been knocking at the door. We will miss him and his leadership."

For wrestlers coming back, John Powell, Jerry Everett and Kaden Hedley, Schmidt wants them go out for track or football.

"The amount of kids that place at State are one sport athletes," Schmidt said. "Unless they are specialized where they are training nine months a year, other sports need to be played."

Keith McLendon

John Powell gets behind his opponent.

He said a wrestler who thinks that they can start competing as the season starts, with no athletics before, is unlikely to go far. Schmidt said that training is essential physically and mentally. He said given a choice between a sports specialist and an athlete, he will take the athlete.

"So we told the wrestlers coming back, they have to go out for a spring sport and later a fall sport," Schmidt said. "You have to get yourself in a weight room and you have to compete in wrestling whenever you can."

Schmidt said the weight room is key to competing.

"You only get one time in your life to compete for your school," Schmidt said. "So our message to them is just go and compete. It will translate on the mat."

Schmidt is excited about next year. He said the wrestlers coming back were all quality and there are some young wrestlers coming up from eighth grade.


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