GREENVILLE — Greenville senior wrestler Michael Schmidt is looking to close out his final season on a high note.
The 119-pounder is currently 18-3 overall — started the season with seven consecutive pins — and ranked No. 10 in Division 2 by michigangrappler.com.
Schmidt spent the summer focusing on his final year of wrestling, which also meant bypassing his senior season of football.
“I wrestled a lot individually this summer in different states,” Schmidt said. “I just wanted to go wherever I could. I lifted a lot and did a lot of running over the summer.”
Specifically, Schmidt focused on bottom work and improving his shots.
“I worked on my bottom a lot and getting confident in my shots,” Schmidt said. “For the rest of the year, I need to keep my conditioning where it’s at and keep improving.”
So far, Schmidt hasn’t had to wrestle a full six minutes many times. Schmidt has been a pinning machine, something that was few and far between his sophomore and junior seasons.
He doesn’t know why the pins are coming so much this year.
“I don’t think I’m looking for a pin, as opposed to just a move,” Schmidt said. “I’m stronger than last year, but I don’t know why I’m getting more pins.”
Schmidt has won district titles the past two years and has finished fourth at regionals both times. At state, he has yet to place, but that is his goal for 2013.
“I just want to keep improving on what I’ve been working on all summer,” Schmidt said. “Then I can see what happens at state.”
Schmidt has wrestled this season at 119 pounds all but once this year. He wrestled at 112 at the Hudsonville tournament and placed first in the individual format.
Two of his biggest wins of the year took place at Hudsonville against Northview’s Matt Norris and Logan Irey of Whitehall.
Schmidt defeated Norris (ranked No. 6 in Division 2 at 112) 6-0 and defeated Irey (ranked No. 3 in Division 3 at 112) 8-0.”
“I feel pretty good about where my record is right now,” Schmidt said. “My toughest match was against Dean Somers of Lapeer West. He is ranked No. 1 at 119 in Division 2. I lost 5-1 to him.”
It’s possible Schmidt will wrestle at 112 during the state tournament. Schmidt said the biggest difference in weight classes is the size of opponents.
“It’s not bad. The kids are a lot bigger at 119,” Schmidt said. “They are a lot quicker too than at 112.”
The Yellow Jackets are ranked No. 7 in Division 2 and are looking to make a run at the state tournament again.
“The team is doing real well,” Schmidt said. “We have a couple of gaps here and there. I think we will finish strong and get to Battle Creek (team state).”
When it’s all said and done, Schmidt is hoping to continue his wrestling career in college next year. He has received some interests from programs around the country.
“I plan to wrestle in college. I have been getting a lot of letters about wrestling,” Schmidt said. “A few schools in Ohio have been sending letters, so we will have to see where it goes.”
Greenville will wrestle at the Grand Ledge Invitational on Saturday.