Allen East’s Winner to wrestle at University of Toledo

HARROD – Alek Winner has enjoyed success as a wrestler at Allen East and now the senior Mustang is looking to grow even more at the next level after signing his letter of intent Friday to wrestle at the University of Toledo.

Winner was a state qualifier his junior year, and a member of the Mustang team that captured four straight Northwest Conference titles.

Attracted about wrestling at the Division I level, Winner, who carries a GPA of 3.6, said it was the academics and him pursuing a law degree that pushed him to becoming a Rocket.

“I wanted to major in law and I want to go onto to go to get a law degree in law school,” Winner said. “I really liked the University of Toledo’s law program and hoping to major in political science and pre-law.

Winner is committed to the mat as he is to the classroom.

“When you do a sport you do it to go to the next level at least that is how I see it,” Winner said. “Toledo had a wrestling program and I texted the coach and we talked and it just went on from there.

“At the next level I want to be an all-American and work for an NCAA title and that is 100 percent my goal.

Winner adds that he will need to put on some pounds and progress as a grappler.

Longtime Mustang head coach Mike Abbey said Winner is still developing as a wrestler.

“Alek has always done a great job for us and started wrestling with us in junior high,” Abbey said. “Probably back then you wouldn’t think he would be signing to wrestle in college but how much he has transformed himself as an athlete the last five years.

“The kid has got the best heart around. He is a giant but he is a kind giant but when he comes out to compete he turns on that switch and knows how to compete at the highest levels. His work ethic is what has gotten him to where he has gotten here today. He is going to keep working hard and I believe is going to be real successful.”

Abbey added that Winner has really only wrestled for five years and he will need to continue to put in the hard work at Toledo in order to compete.

“He’s kind of a rookie compared to most guys who are going to college and have wrestled almost twice that long so he has got to get that experience and keep working on his hips and working and training to get better.”

For Winner, wrestling is about brotherhood.

“In the room you are one-on-one with a teammate and you form a bond that you don’t get in any other sport,” Winner said.

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Allen East’s Alek Winner, second from left, signed his letter of intent Friday to wrestle at the University of Toledo. On hand for the signing were, from left, front row, Toledo wrestling coach Bryan Knepper, Winner, mother, Tabitha Casey, father, Kyle Casey, back row, teammate Tyler Copeland, and Allen East wrestling head coach Mike Abbey.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2022/04/web1_Winner.jpgAllen East’s Alek Winner, second from left, signed his letter of intent Friday to wrestle at the University of Toledo. On hand for the signing were, from left, front row, Toledo wrestling coach Bryan Knepper, Winner, mother, Tabitha Casey, father, Kyle Casey, back row, teammate Tyler Copeland, and Allen East wrestling head coach Mike Abbey.

By Jose Nogueras

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Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.