Finding his place on the podium
|Big Foot Sophomore Garett Cary locks up an opponent at sectionals. (click for larger version)|
March 02, 2011 | 07:47 AMMadison — Before joining the Chiefs back in January, Big Foot sophomore Garett Cary didn't wrestle for nearly two years because of a knee injury.
Assistant coach Jake Ries helped talk Cary into coming back, and the decision has paid off big time.
On Saturday at the Division 2 state meet, Cary came full circle, reaching the podium with a fourth-place finish in the 285 weight class. Cary (24-4) finished 3-2 on the day.
"It felt really good to get up on the podium with the best at state," Cary said. "I wasn't sure what to expect after not wrestling for almost two years and coming out midway through the season, but I figured I'd give it my all. I'd like to thank all of the coaches for all their help this year."
Coach Craig Utesch, who Cary said got him back into shape in a short time, was happy with Cary's performance.
"Garett did extremely well at state," Utesch said. "I am extremely pleased. We had hoped for a spot on the podium."
Cary started things last Thursday on the right foot.
He outlasted Chetek's Brandon Mikyska, 3-2.
"I didn't want to rush anything so I got my initial takedown and then rode it out from there," Cary said.
In the quarterfinals Friday, Viroqua's Taylor Henry, the eventual state champ, pinned Cary in 0:45. Utesch said Henry was a good opponent, and Cary came out a little nervous. Cary said Henry caught him with a signature move and put him away.
Later in the day Friday, Cary came up against Campbellsport's Eric Gonwa, whom Cary had beaten at sectionals.
Cary edged his familiar foe, 3-2. Utesch said Cary moved very well in the match. Cary was impressed with Gonwa.
"I pinned him at sectionals," he said. "He definitely wrestled a lot better and it was a tough match."
On Saturday morning, Cary had possibly his best match to earn a spot in the third-place match.
Cary faced Lakeside Lutheran's Ben Ewings, who beat him in Cary's first match of the season.
But with the stakes higher, Cary came through with an 8-0 major decision victory.
"I just flipped the switch on and went out and wrestled an all-around smart match and handled my business," Cary said.
Utesch admired Cary's dominance of Ewings.
"Ben was a ranked kid," Utesch said. "Garett came out and ate the kid up. He totally controlled the match. It was one of the best matches I've ever seen him wrestle."
On Saturday afternoon, Cary was pinned in 2:40 by Denmark's Brian Schaetz in the third-place match. Utesch said Cary was simply overpowered. Cary said it was a tough match.
"Schaetz came off an overtime loss to Henry (state champ), and he wasn't in the best mood," he said. "He was just a big senior and he put me away."
Cary learned a lot about state.
"Anything can happen at state and you can't overlook anyone," he said. "So, it's going to take a lot of offseason work, but my goal is to win state next year. But that's everyone else's goal, too. So it comes down to who wants it more and maybe a little luck along with it. I hope to get another good season under my belt next year and have another good finish at Madison."
Utesch is looking forward to Cary's future.
"Garett is a quality kid who works hard," Utesch said. "He has a great work ethic, and he should have a great season next year."