BLUFFTON — For Bluffton’s Zach Wilson, it’s all about staying focused on the task at hand.
Last wrestling season as a junior, Wilson felt confident he would be in the Division III state finals in the 145-pound weight class.
However, Wilson suffered a tough loss in the semifinals and by the end of the third day of the tournament, he had to settle for fourth place. Wilson ended the season 51-3.
“Last year, going into the state tournament, I felt like I should have been in the finals,” Wilson said. “I started to wrestle through (the bracket) and I felt pretty good. I had two injuries, but that’s common.
“I just kind of let that semifinals match slip away from me. …That was big on the third- and fourth-place match. I was pretty down and had a hard time coming back from that. I lost my focus. This year, I have to do a better job of staying focused and just worry about the task at hand.”
In the state semifinals, Delta’s Tyler Fahrer defeated Wilson 10-7 to force him to wrestle back in the third-place match. In the third-place bout, Wilson was upended by Ashland Crestview’s Wyatt Music, 10-5.
His sophomore season, Wilson finished fourth at the state tournament at 140 pounds. His freshman campaign, Wilson competed at the state tournament at 135, but did not place.
“We just keep reminding him to keep scoring more points,” Bluffton coach Jeff Kleman said. “That’s the key thing — just keep scoring points. You don’t want to protect the lead. Scoring more points will give you some breathing room. You want to make it (the lead) bigger and then you won’t have any issues.”
Wilson has added some size during the offseason. He also played football this past fall, after not competing the year before. With the additional size, he is not set on a certain weight class.
“I’m probably going to be 152 (weight class) to 145,” Wilson said. “I’m a little bit bigger this year. I’ll have to see how it goes.
“It (added weight) wasn’t from playing football. It was probably just all of the lifting I did over the summer and trying to stay strong.”
The one thing Wilson is certain of, however, is the fact he wants to be on the big stage on the third and final day of the state tournament at Ohio State.
“I want the title. That’s what I’ve been training all year for. I want to make the state finals and give whoever I wrestle, a good run for their money,” he said.
Kleman said he doesn’t have to remind his top wrestler on what he needs to do.
“We don’t talk about it much. …He knows what his goal is. He definitely wants to be in the finals and have a chance at that (state title). There’s enough pressure throughout the year.”
Wilson kicked off the 2012-13 season this past Saturday by going 5-0 at the Findlay Duals. He recorded three pins at Findlay and now has a career record of 130-17.