DELPHOS — Young athletes will mature.
Their bodies will develop and they’ll get bigger and stronger as time passes.
However, Delphos St. John’s wrestler Wes Buettner has taken the maturation process to the extreme.
Four years ago, Buettner was a 126-pound freshman.
Now, a senior, Buettner is one of the top 195-pound wrestlers in the area.
Buettner, who also is a linebacker on St. John’s football team, had a vision during his freshman season.
“He told us as a freshman that he was going to wrestle 195 and I thought he was crazy,” St. John’s coach Derek Sterling said. “But, he’s done it the right way. He was lifting and putting on the weight for football. As a freshman and sophomore, he wanted to get to 195, so he could start at linebacker. The weight gain was as much for football as it was for wrestling.”
As a 126-pounder, Buettner had some success. That season, he finished a little above .500. He realized then that he would not stay in the lighter weight classes for long.
“I knew I was going to wrestle at 195 by the time I was a senior,” Buettner said with a smile. “I thought there was a good chance, because my dad and brother are both over 6-foot. I knew I would put on the weight by lifting. I knew if I could grow a little bit (in height), then I knew I could.
“I was really skinny, with not much body fat. I put on a lot of muscle in the offseason. I was trying to get bigger for football and wrestling. I think it’s paid off for me, because I put on good weight.”
As a freshman, Buettner stood about 5-foot-7. Since then, he’s grown three inches taller.
One advantage for Buettner is that his weight between football season and wrestling season did not vary much.
“I came in (for wrestling) weighing around 202. So, I cut about a pound per week,” Buettner said.
So far this season, Buettner (25-3) has proven that he can compete at 195. This past weekend, he finished fourth at the prestigious Catholic Invitational Tournament (CITs). Back in December, Buettner notched his 100th career win at the (Lincolnview) Lancer Invitational.
One of Buettner’s other notable titles this season came at the Allen County Invitational.
After competing at 126 his freshman year, Buettner came back his sophomore campaign and wrestled at 152. At 152, Buettner placed second at the Division III sectional and then finished 2-2 at the district tournament.
Last year, as a junior, Buettner qualified for the state tournament at the 170-pound weight class. However, he did not place at the state tournament.
Buettner comes from a family where wrestling is the sport of choice.
Wes’ brother, Will, competed at the 2013 Division III state tournament at 170 pounds his senior season.
“His brother Will was a state qualifier,” Sterling said. “His dad (Keith) was a state-qualifier in 1983-84. Keith has also been coaching with me for eight years,” Sterling said.
The St. John’s coach said Buettner is very committed.
“He’s always had a great attitude. He’s always been willing to do whatever the coaches ask,” Sterling said. “Wes has kind of a bubbly-type personality. A lot of people like to talk to him. But when the head gear is snapped up, he’s a different kid. He’s always pushed the pace. He has such a high motor. He takes a lot of shots.”
Buettner feels that putting on the extra weight has not been a hindrance to his aggressive style of wrestling.
“I can tell that both in football and wrestling that I still have the quickness,” Buettner said. “I came up as a smaller kid. So, I used my agility and quickness. I still have my quickness, but I’ve also put on muscle, and it has really helped me out.”