The senior heads into the postseason ranked No. 8 at 132 pounds in Class 1-A and sports a 37-2 record. Schmitz, who also competes in football and track, opens sectionals on Saturday in Manson, Iowa.
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Q: What clicked for you before your senior year?
A: I did a lot of work over the summer. Last year I was struggling with a few injuries, and I’m a lot healthier this year and feel like I’m at a good weight for myself, too. A lot of things are clicking this year for me.
Q: What are your college plans?
A: I’m not really sure. I kind of know what I want to do, but I don’t know where I want to go or if I want to wrestle there.
Q: How much was wrestling part of your life growing up?
A: My dad (Gary) was a youth coach for Kuemper and he got me into it really young. I’ve always been wrestling. I’ve grown up just outside of Carroll, but we’ve always gone to Kuemper.
Q: What do you have to do to get ready for a match?
A: I try to stay calm. It’s kind of odd — I have my championship socks that I like to wear. They’re yellow and they match my singlet in yellow. But I just try to keep myself relaxed.
Q: What’s the best piece of wrestling or life advice you have gotten?
A: Stay confident and stick to what I know I’m good at. I got that advice from my dad and coaches.
Q: What’s a misconception people have about wrestling you would like to clear up?
A: That we all have to cut weight so much and we all starve ourselves. I think a lot of people misconstrue it. A lot of people don’t cut that much weight. If they do, they do it right.
Q: What is it about wrestling that you enjoy so much?
A: It’s probably just that I’m the only person on the mat — there’s nobody else out there with me helping me out. I have to do it myself. When I do win the matches, I know I did that all on my own.
Q: How would you like this season to end?
A: I want to make it to the state tournament for sure. I’d like to place in the top five.
Q: What is something people don’t know about your Kuemper team?
A: Every week on Monday, we get these sheets where we write down what our goal is, what’s going to be hard about that goal to achieve it, how you achieve that goal and how you are going to feel when you achieve it. We fill it in, hand it in and hang them on the walls in our wrestling room. They can be individual or team goals.
— Evan Bland