Barnett chases lofty goal in his senior season

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HORTONVILLE, Wisc. (WBAY) One of the top prep wrestling talents in the nation hails from Hortonville. Eric Barnett has all but maxed out his high school career, but that’s just a small part of what he hopes to accomplish on the mat.

Two WIAA state titles, check.

No. 1 ranking in Wisconsin at 126 pounds, check.

No. 1 ranking in the nation at 120 pounds, check.

Commitment to wrestle at Wisconsin, check.

“I’m very competitive,” Hortonville senior Eric Barnett said.

Hortonville's Eric Barnett already boasts a pretty impressive resume, so what's left to accomplish for one of the most decorated high school wrestlers in the country?

“Going to try and make a world team this spring,” Barnett said. Hopefully, make that and go to Estonia, make the pound for pound rankings. That would be pretty cool to be on there, considered one of the best in the country, pound for pound wise. Besides that, I guess go to Wisconsin, win a national title.”

“Are those lofty goals? Absolutely,” Hortonville head wresting coach, Chris Gennrich said.”…but if anybody can reach them, I would put my money on him (Eric Barnett)."

Before Barnett can get to any of those goals, he's still got a prep career to finish, complete with an opportunity at an undefeated senior season and a third state title.

Believe it or not, it's the least lofty of his goals.

“It does matter,” Barnett said. “It helps me a lot too, building cardio. We work a lot on cardio, perfecting technique, just being in the room, five times a week, helps a lot. It’s really nice getting that mat time, being able to spread the gap, and wrestling guys I wrestled the year before and then wrestling them this year and trying to beat them by more. I still got stuff to look for in the season even if I don't have a close match.”

Barnett says he already pinned the No. 2 wrestler in the state earlier in this year.

“There’s no build up really for state, just go in and get the job done,” Barnett said.

Barnett’s quest for the 3 peat begins February 9th when WIAA regionals begin.