Small wrestler gets big results


Jake Anderson

Despite wrestling in the 106-pound class—the lowest—and only weighing 96 pounds, Jace Koelzer, freshman, is a wrestler whose accomplishments are quite large.

He has wrestled for about 10 years after his father signed him up, and he has been successful since the start. His father’s side of the family is where the wrestling gene comes from. For many generations, his family has wrestled.

When Koelzer was 8 years old, he won his first state title, and many more have followed. Koelzer has also competed in national tournaments, where he has been successful against people from all over the country and from other countries.

“Big losses have mainly been my biggest challenge,” Koelzer said. “I just have to fight through and learn from what happened”

Another challenge for him has been his weight. Because he competes in the 106-pound weight class, Koelzer’s 96 pounds put him at a disadvantage. A 10-pound difference between wrestlers is significant. It is like being a 6-foot basketball player guarding someone 6-feet 7-inches tall.

“Jace has been wrestling bigger guys in practice, so he’s always improving,” Nate Henson, junior, said. “He works really hard and tries to drill faster than everyone else. His work ethic never changes from practice to meets.”

Since Koelzer is only a freshman this year, he has three more years of high school to continually improve his skills and ultimately reach a state title.