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State Wrestling Tournament Preview

No time for relaxation

Washington's Green has no plans to let up this weekend at state
By Travis J. Brown, Journal Sports Editor | Feb 13, 2013
Photo by: Travis J. Brown Washington 113-pounder Fletcher Green takes down Mediapolis sophomore Cody McNeil at the district tournament last Saturday.

As a high school wrestler, Washington 113-pounder Fletcher Green has compiled an impressive career record of 106-20.

But his record at the state tournament, where he’s gone 2-4 in two appearances, isn’t quite as notable.

Green, a junior, has been disappointed with how he’s wrestled in his first two trips to the state wrestling tournament. And his goal this weekend is clear.

“This time I want to get on the podium and not fall short again,” said Green, who enters this year’s state tournament ranked fourth in Class 2A with a 32-5 record.

Green learned an important lesson in his first-round match at state last year. He was leading 10th-ranked Austin Bainbridge of Sheldon South O’Brien 3-0 heading into the third period, but Bainbridge caught Green out of position and cradled him to win by fall.

“I wrestled poorly last year in the first round,” Green said. “I was winning pretty easily, and I kept relaxing, and I relaxed to the point where he caught me on my back and pinned me. He ended up placing fifth. I was definitely better than he was.”

Green pinned his next opponent, but then lost a 3-2 decision to second-ranked Darrian Schwenke of Atlantic in his second-round consolation match to end his season.

“I lost to a tough kid in a wrestleback, but I shouldn’t have been in that position,” Green said. “I didn’t go hard the whole time. I relaxed.”

Green, the son of Steve and Pam Green, has only improved as a wrestler since then, and he isn’t likely to relax or let down against his opponents this weekend in Des Moines.

“He’s just more mature,” Washington head coach Brent Van Weelden said of Green. “He stays more level-headed.”

This year Green won’t take his first-round opponent — or any opponent, for that matter — lightly. Green will take on Humboldt senior Kylie Zender (36-9) in the first round on Thursday night. Zender is unranked, but he upset seventh-ranked Trevor Streuli of Spencer in overtime to win the district championship in Spencer last weekend.

“He’s got a good record, and he beat a Spencer kid at districts who was ranked seventh, so he’s pretty good,” Green said. “Everybody in Des Moines is going to be good.”

That includes Green, who is back for a third time and determined to finish this weekend with a medal around his neck.

“I definitely should have gotten on the podium last year,” he said. “I don’t want to waste any more chances.”

If Green wrestles to his potential, he should be among the top eight wrestlers at 113 pounds this weekend at Wells Fargo Arena.

“He wants to be on the podium,” Van Weelden said. “If he wrestles well, he could be somewhere at the top.”

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