Oconto Falls’ Whiting eyes fourth straight title
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Just 19 wrestlers in state history have four straight titles, Oconto Falls’ Clayton Whiting has a chance to become the twentieth this weekend in Madison.
“I definitely think this is going to be a historical moment, and I definitely want to make my mark in the state history for wrestling and becoming one of the next four-timers,” said Clayton Whiting. I don’t worry about anything, I just go out there and tell myself I’m going to do what I do best and hope for the best outcome.”
Whiting in a way almost seemed destined to be a wrestler.
“My dad, mainly, he started wrestling when he was in high school. When I was born, my dad looked at me and was like this is definitely going to be a wrestler. I started when I was four years old and continued on throughout high school right now,” said Whiting.
In order to claim four straight requires winning the first. As a freshman claiming the state championship in the 152 weight class in 2019. The stage wasn’t too big for Whiting as he cruised to a 9-0 win over then top seeded Mike Smith of Emery.
“I treat it like any other match. I was super excited. I was not scared whatsoever. I was more in the moment. Just wanting to wrestle,” said Whiting. “Beginning my freshman year I noticed my technique and everything was improving more dramatically just because I started taking it more serious, and noticing what I am capable of doing.”
“He’s obviously grown as a wrestler ability-wise, but I’ve said it every year, he’s grown as a leader, as a captain, and just overall as a young man,” said head coach Cody Nielsen.
“I think positive all the time, 24-7, and I’m always telling myself I can do better every practice, trying to find new things. Trying to figure new technique out that I know I can beat my opponents in the future,” said Whiting.
Whiting continued to improve and claimed state titles in the 170 weight class in 2020, and 182 weight class a year later. Now as a senior the Missouri commit sits with a 47-1 record and a chance to complete the sweep.
“I think we just keep telling him you take it one match at a time. I think you just go out and enjoy each match. You wrestle to the best of your ability. If he does that, I think there’s no one that is better than him. You just keep getting better each day, and staying confident, then goes and does what he does on the mat,” said Nielsen.”
Copyright 2022 WBAY. All rights reserved.