Westfall’s Probasco wants to enjoy state atmosphere

Westfall senior Hunter Probasco is slated to make his first appearance in the state wrestling championships after finishing fourth at heavyweight during a Division III district tournament hosted by Harrison Central High School last weekend.

Probasco (37-9) is slated to face top-seeded Eli Criblez of Harrod Allen East in a first-round matchup on Friday inside Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center.

Criblez, who is 45-1 on the season, finished fourth in the state tournament last season and was state runner-up two years ago.

Question: How do you feel you wrestled last weekend at the district tournament and chat with us about winning your match to qualify for the state tournament?

Answer: I feel like I wrestled great. I felt like my first match of the district tournament was a must win match, and I went out and won by pin (over Mechanicsburg’s Braedon Buxton in 2:36). I lost my second match, which put me into the consolation bracket to start the second day.

I pinned a couple of kids (Malvern’s Frank McClelland in 2:23 and Zane Trace’s J.T. Jenkins in 3:25) to get to the consolation finals, which was the match I needed to win to qualify for state. I rolled (Caldwell’s Jase Norman), pinned him in 4:08 and I went to give Coach William Breyer a hug.

Westfall’s Hunter Probasco is slated to make to his first appearance in the state wrestling championships. Photo by John Howley/Sporting Pumpkin

Question: What are your keys to success on the mat with your style of wrestling?

Answer: Being patient. I wrestle very smart and attack when the opponent makes a mistake. Being patient also means I am waiting until the second or third period when my opponent begins to wear out to make my move.

Question: Talk to us about your practice and training routine and how it has pushed you to become a better grappler?

Answer: Our practice routine is a couple harder days at the beginning of the week, followed by some easier days when it gets closer to the meet. I usually wrestle Coach Breyer every day, and he is a handful and makes me better every day.

Question: What are your expectations for the state tournament?

Answer: I want to enjoy it. I’m guaranteed two more matches in my high school career. I get to compete at the Schott, in front of thousands of people and I am competing in the sport that I love. I am going to enjoy every second of it.

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