Going out on top
Perhaps no sport is a greater test of individual determination than wrestling. For the athletes dedicated to the sport, wrestling isn’t something they do. It is something they become. Dan Gable said, “I went to college. I have degrees in biology and physical education, but my major was wrestling.”
All over the state of Iowa, wrestling is king and the sport starts to make demands on children as young as 4 years old. By the time a young person becomes a senior in high school, he/she is a very different person than he/she would have been if he/she had not sworn allegiance to wrestling.
This case is true for Washington High School’s six senior wrestlers. Having just concluded their high school wrestling careers, the effects of the sport are evident. What’s visible is six young men with discipline and focus. They have tested their bodies and gained the confidence that comes with knowing their will can overcome what they previously believed to be their physical limitations.
Luke Brown, Fletcher Green, Logan Howard, Tanner Knupp, Austin Latcham and Tristan Pohren have all been through the grind of many seasons of wrestling, having all wrestled for most of their lives. The Demon seniors have not only had wrestling leave an impression on them, but also left their mark on Washington wrestling.
Green will leave Washington High School as the school’s fifth state champion, topping the podium in his junior year for Class 2A at 113 pounds. He also reached the state podium in his senior year at 120 pounds. According to trackwrestling.com, Green’s career record at Washington High School is an impressive 77 – 7, meaning 92 percent of the time Green stepped on to the mat it was his arm that was raised by the referee. Forty-two percent (32) of those victories came by way of a pin.
The accolades for this senior class don’t end with Green, however. Pohren also put up some impressive numbers. Once again according to trackwrestling.com, Pohren’s career record at Washington High School was 67 – 11, a win percentage of .859. Of Pohren’s 67 wins, 33 of them or just about half came by way of a pin. Pohren qualified for the state tournament in both his junior and senior years at 132 pounds.
Knupp’s career record at Washington is 48 – 11 for a win percentage of .814. Knupp recorded 25 pins in his career. Latcham finishes at 43 – 20 (.683) with 26 pins, Howard at 20 – 14 (.589) with 18 pins and Brown at 14 – 9 (.609) with nine pins.
If you combine those numbers, you get an impressive stat line. Wrestling coaches will tell you the best measuring stick for an athlete is the improvement he/she has made. In their senior campaign, this group of six wrestlers combined for a 171 – 51 record with 100 pins. That means this past season, 77 percent of the time one of these six grappled with an opponent they won and 45 percent of the time that opponent’s shoulders were put to the mat.
One of the best measurements of the impact this group of seniors had on Demon wrestling was a look at Washington’s dual record during their time. In these wrestlers’ junior and senior seasons, the Demons went 46 – 4 in dual competitions. Any length of time in which a team can say it won 92 percent of their matches is something to be proud of.
These young men have ambitions beyond the wrestling mat, however. All six intend to continue their education after graduation from high school.
Luke, 17, is the son of Adam and Stephanie Brown. Fletcher, 17, is the son of Steve and Pam Green. Logan, 17, is the son of Jamie Howard and Heather Schenk. Tanner, 18, is the son of Zeus and Jackie Knupp. Austin, 18, is the son of Robert and Jodi Latcham. Tristan, 18, is the son of Tom Pohren and Erin Brown. All six boys reside in Washington.