Washington Evening Journal

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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 17, 2017

West twins identically dominant on mat

By Derek Helling, Sports Editor | Feb 06, 2014
Photo by: Derek Helling Bryce (right) and Drew (left) West are freshman wrestlers at Highland High School. The pair are both ranked first in the state in their weight classes and are undefeated thus far in their freshman campaigns.

The nature vs. nurture debate has raged on for most of human history about many facets of life. My experience is that a combination of the two factors make people to be who they are. That seems to be the case for Bryce and Drew West of Highland High School.
The freshmen twin brothers, sons of Becky and Darren West of Riverside and both wrestle on the Huskies’ varsity team. Besides their blood and the fact that they both wrestle for Highland, they have other things in common. Both West boys are undefeated in their freshmen seasons thus far, are both ranked first in their weight classes by Predicament.com and are both conference champions looking to add more to their resumes.
Drew, who is 23 minutes older than Bryce, wrestles at 106 pounds and is currently 33 – 0 heading into this weekend’s meet. Bryce wrestles at 113 pounds and his record stands at 33 – 0 as well.
Both West boys began wrestling in kindergarten. They say that it was their parents who introduced them to the sport. Both West boys say that they realized their love for the sport and their talent in elementary school when they made it to the state level and placed among the top four in their weight classes there.
Both West boys give credit to Jess Hahn, a former Highland wrestler and current University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse student-athlete for mentoring them in the sport. They also say that they’ve gotten a lot of help from all their coaches including Jordan Westphal and Highland’s Clint Jones.
“They put a lot of time into the sport both in the season and in the offseason. That time commitment has paid big dividends for them. They have a really strong grasp of positioning and natural instincts that instantly connect. When opportunities arise they recognize them and take advantage of it. They have advanced skills for their age and their overall commitment to the sport is being seen on the mat right now,” Jones said of the Wests.
As far as secret to their success goes, both Bryce and Drew say there isn’t one.
“I like to wrestle my style and make my opponent adapt to me,” Bryce said. Drew added that what he would tell young wrestlers is to “keep wrestling, keep trying, you’ll improve with practice.”
“The sky is the limit for them. Wrestling is a sport where you can be as good as you want to be. Natural talent is good but hard work will always overcome that. They have worked hard to be as good as they are. One thing they are working on is being more effective in riding. The great thing is that in the wrestling room they are not afraid to experiment. Because they’ve done that, they’ve learned a lot,” Jones added.
Neither of the West boys have an idea yet what they want to do after high school, being mere freshmen, but they have started to look into where they might spend that. They have received a letter of interest from one institution of higher education and say they have checked out the history of the school’s wrestling program and the institution’s Web site.
For the rest of this season and the next three years, the West boys will be on the mat for Highland, however.  What accolades they will have accumulated by the time they graduate from high school remains to be seen. The probability, based on both their nature and nurture, is that those accolades will be many. If you’re looking for quality wrestlers in this area, go West young man.

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