Not stopping at 100

Senior Dustin Papa works to break down his opponent, Tucker Schneiderheinz from Central City at the David City Quad on Dec. 17. Papa won the match by pin in 32 seconds.

Nicole Buntgen, Co-Editor

Adding yet another accomplishment to his senior year, Dustin Papa garnered his 100th career win at the home dual against Malcolm on Jan. 5.

First finding out about his powerful win, Papa said he was relieved to get the goal off his shoulders. Papa said he knew it was coming and that he would hit it, and he was happy he was able to captivate the win in front of a home crowd.

“100 wins is a big accomplishment. There have been several great wrestlers that have never reached 100 wins,” Head Coach Tahner Thiem said. “Getting to 100 wins means the wrestler was solid as a freshman and wrestled through could-have-been injuries throughout a four-year span.

Papa said he remembers his first career win his freshman year, which took place at his second meet. He said it was pretty exciting knowing he finally won a Varsity match, especially because he had gone 0-3 the week before. After that, it has always been a goal to reach 100, he said.

“Freshman year I was pretty scared going out on the mat because all the kids were bigger than me. Now that it’s my senior year, I’m a lot stronger and I don’t get as scared or nervous as I’ve learned a lot more technique,” Papa said.

Papa said he is grateful for the wrestlers’ practice room, his coaches, and having the opportunity to compete against wrestlers equal to or better than him during daily practices. Tournaments and camps have also helped pave the way to his success, he said.

“The State Tournament prepares you for really any environment. If you can wrestle in the State Tournament, you can wrestle anywhere else,” Papa said. “For camps, the Colorado camp that we went to last summer had good technique and was a good team-bonding experience.”

Future goals Papa has for the rest of the season include winning State both as an individual and as a team. Papa is also determined to break the career win record of 130, set by his older brother, 2009 David City High School graduate Tyler Papa.

Dustin said he wouldn’t be where he is today without the help from his coaches and teammates pushing him every day during practice.

“Dustin has improved a great deal every year he has wrestled in high school. He is a great listener and is extremely coachable,” Thiem said.