Grassel won his second consecutive wrestling district title on Feb. 17.
Strawberry Crest’s wrestling team recently placed first at the FHSAA district tournament at George Jenkins High School, thanks in part to a clutch final win by senior Chad Grassel at 195 pounds. Grassel also played football for the Chargers and is in the top 15 in his graduating class with a 5.9 GPA. He’s hoping to earn a college scholarship to play sports while studying criminology.
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How did you feel after your big win?
It felt pretty good. I just knew I had to win…we were really close to George Jenkins. They were in second, we were in first by, like, three points.
Tell me about that first-place match.
In the first period I was down, 2-0. Then he (Trent Bridges, George Jenkins High School) went down and in the second period, it was 3-0. I kept hearing my teammates say I had it, I could do it, I could take this kid. About 15 seconds left in the second period, I took him down and held him down the rest of the period. It was 3-2. Third period, I went down, got my one-point escape. It was 3-3. He went to take a shot to try and take the lead, I put him in a front headlock and circled around him to get two (points), and then held him down until the last 20 seconds and then just stalled, basically, until time ran out.
Any college plans?
I have a couple different schools looking at me. I have Lawrence University in Wisconsin, as well as Carthage and I actually like Concordia as well because it has wrestling.
Would you play both sports?
I don’t know what I want to do. I’ve been doing wrestling and football together for the last four years and it’s been a really busy schedule. I know that going to college, it’s paid for and you don’t get it back if you fail a class…you take a chance of losing your scholarship.
What’s been your favorite moment as a Charger?
Definitely wrestling. Two-time district champ, something the school has never done before, was never a district champ for wrestling at all until last year. I was just glad to continue it my senior year after being a part of it our first time…I think that they’re going to continue doing it and eventually become a powerhouse.
What advice would you give to one of those new kids who will come in after you and try to finish building that “powerhouse?”
Definitely, stick it out. Wrestling is hard. Really hard. Harder than any sport I’ve ever done in my life. It takes a lot of dedication. It really does. But it pays off in the end when you start getting wins at regionals, and you’re one of those kids that, when you walk into the (opponent’s) gym, they’re all looking at you like, “These kids are here, we have to go against Strawberry Crest.”