ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Every day for the Holt High School wrestling team, the 120-pound senior Sidney Oliver finds a partner and goes to work. And you can’t help but feel a little sorry for the person who has to face the two-time Missouri Wrestling State Champion.
“People don’t realize how much of a team sport wrestling actually is,” Oliver says.
And the Holt Indians are coming off a 2nd place finish as a team at the State Championships.
“To get to be that good as an individual, you have to have good practice partners and have a good team,” Oliver says. “And your team is always pushing you and telling you to go harder and harder then push to the next level.”
Indians head coach Jason Moore says this year’s team is somewhat special to him. For one thing, this group of seniors has been wrestling together for eight years. And Moore has watched Oliver since he was wrestling in elementary school.
And in Oliver’s four years at Holt, he’s realized just how far wrestling can take him.
“I’ve always thought about it and heard that if you do well in high school, you can take it farther and go to college,” Oliver says. “I started to get (letters) from small colleges, then they were bigger and bigger, then my mind just went like, dang. I can do this. And go to these big places like this.”
His big place will be Appalachian State University in North Carolina. Although he says the coaches and future teammates are great, the mountains and the beach being so close by is what got him there.
And helping Oliver climb up that recruiting mountain was his head coach.
“It’s really stressful for a lot of young men,” Moore says. “It’s really the first time they have had someone try to entice them and get them to come to their school, and there are a lot of schools who want to get these athletes.”
But long before Oliver had the goal to wrestle in college, he was just a 6-year-old going to his first practices and meets. Some of the inspiration to wrestle came from his uncle.
“My uncle wrestled back in the day,” Oliver says. “He was a little guy like myself. … So we’ll go out and we’ll watch some wrestling or MMA and give each other little tips like that.”
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