Wrestling: Team-first attitude keys Thompson's success

Rising senior Grant Thompson won over 20 matches and qualified for the IHSA 2A Individual Sectional Championships this past season. Despite some injuries over the past few years, Thompson has become a consistent contributor to the varsity wrestling team. (Courtesy photo)

Rising senior overcomes early-season injury to earn first sectional bid

Although an early-season injury initially slowed down Rochelle Township High School wrestler Grant Thompson, the 132-pounder worked his way back to finish his third varsity season as not only one of the best grapplers in the conference, but in the region as well.

Thompson was a mainstay in the varsity lineup this past season, winning 22 matches and helping the Hubs to an 18-4 dual record. The rising senior finished third in both the Interstate 8 Conference and the IHSA 2A Regionals, earning an opportunity to compete in the IHSA 2A Sectionals for the first time in his three years on the RTHS wrestling team.

“I felt that I performed well, but I could have done better had I not gotten injured in the beginning of the season,” Thompson said. “I thought that I performed well during our dual meets and I thought I did everything I could to help our team. I want to improve my speed and my technique for next season. My goals are to win 25-or-more matches and qualify for state. I will have to work hard and be very determined if I want to make it to the state meet.”

A former IWCOA Fresh-Soph Sectional qualifier, Thompson won 16 matches during his sophomore campaign, which was cut short due to a head injury. As a freshman, Thompson earned a starting varsity spot at the 120-pound weight class, finishing fourth in the IHSA 2A Regionals and ending the season with 20 victories. Thompson competed alongside the team that won 19 dual matches and took fourth place in the IHSA 2A State Dual Championships.

“I thought we performed well as a team this past season, even though we had some empty weight classes,” Thompson said. “We could be filling some of those weight classes this coming year and I think we’ll have a better chance to win more close-scoring dual matches. I thought we wrestled well in our dual meets and placed well in tournaments. I think that, as a team, we can improve more on being more technical with our shots.”

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