Grewe represents Abby/Colby at state
For every champion crowned there will always be innumerable others trying to ascend to the peak of their sport.
It’s the thrill of that climb that excites and motivates Carter Grewe more than anything. For Grewe, the glory isn’t in the titles, but in the battle to the top.
Grewe, a wrestling phenom and sophomore at Colby High, began his ascent to the highest stage in Wisconsin high school wrestling last year.
As a freshman he was fourth in the 220 weight class at the WIAA D-2 sectional tournament in Neillsville. It was an excellent result, given Grewe’s age and the quality of his opponents, but he wasn’t happy, and vowed to come back stronger.
Grewe broke through this season, making his first ever appearance at the individual state tournament on Thursday at the Kohl Center in Madison.
“It feels great to end the season on the biggest stage of Wisconsin high school wrestling,” Grewe said, describing his experience at state. “It’s a truly unbelievable feeling. The energy in the building is unmatched.”
Grewe had to wait his turn to start the season, slowly coming back from a football injury. If Grewe was short on match practice, he was long on conditioning, putting his body through a rigorous offseason workout and nutrition regimen that saw him go from 220 down to 195.
“Over the offseason I worked really hard to develop a powerful offense that I could use to win more matches,” Grewe explained.
Grewe knew that he could hang with anyone, and, over the course of the year, he proved that, piling up wins and titles But at state last week every wrestler in came in with a sterling pedigree.
Grewe’s opponent, Drew Ries of Beloit Turner, was one of those wrestlers. A senior with a 34-3 record, Ries came into the tournament ranked fifth in the state, having won four of his last five meets, including a first place showing at the WIAA D-2 regional in Evansville/Alban and a conference crown in the 195 weight class in the Rock Valley Conference.
None of that mattered to Grewe. He had earned his place on the mat just as Ries did, and under the bright lights of the Kohl Center each had an equal opportunity to advance.
“I never felt intimidated of anyone,” Grewe said. “You have to have the mindset that you can beat anyone or you’re just telling yourself you will lose.”
But even the best conditioned athletes can have a slow start, and Ries got an early jump on Grewe on Thursday night.
“I came out slow and sluggish, but as the match went on his body was starting to wear down and my endurance was holding strong,” Grewe said.
Facing an early deficit, Grewe came roaring back in the third.
“To score most of my points I wore him down to take him down. I used his lack of endurance against him to make my offense work seamlessly. My endurance allowed me to keep it close.”
But that slow start cost Grewe dearly, and though he was asserting himself late in the match, Reis’ early advantage held true, and just like that, Grewe’s campaign in the Kohl Center came to an end on the heels of a 7-5 decision.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Grewe, having battled so hard to return to the mats, but those weeks of inactivity have made Grewe grateful for his season and his 25-7 record.
“Having to sit out so long put into perspective that you have to wrestle every practice and match like it’s your last.”
With an appearance at the state tournament now under his belt, Grewe has already begun to count the days for when he can attempt the ascent once more.
“Returning and having the season that I had was great, but there is always more to achieve in the future,” Grewe said.
The prep wrestling season is over, and the experience in Madison was great, but Grewe says state is a good beginning, but by no means is it the end.
“I don’t necessarily think making it to state is a launch pad for next season - I see it as extra motivation to succeed next season.”