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home : sports & recreation : sports & recreation July 22, 2017

6/6/2017 12:25:00 PM
Wrestlers bringing home the iron
Jeffrey Schuler, Jr. (11) and Triston White (12) have reaped many honors in club wrestling. photo by Jim Cornelius
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Jeffrey Schuler, Jr. (11) and Triston White (12) have reaped many honors in club wrestling. photo by Jim Cornelius

By Jim Cornelius
News Editor

Sisters athletes Jeffrey Schuler and Triston White may be new to wrestling, but they haven't lost any time making their presence felt on the mats.

The Deschutes Mat Club wrestlers have reaped a harvest of iron on their way to qualifying for regional championships in Pocatello, Idaho, later this month.

White, age 12, has had a particularly impressive run, taking Triple Crown honors with first-place finishes in Folk Style, Free Style, and Roman-Greco wrestling. He attributes his success to his exceptional strength, but he's also quickly learning technique.

Schuler, age 11, qualified for regionals with fifth-place finishes in free-style and Roman-Greco.

He, too, is new to the sport. His dad, also Jeffrey, suggested that they give the sport a try. Jeffrey Senior does not have a wrestling background himself.

"I was a gymnast," he said. "But I'm so bought into it now."

Schuler has seen his son and Triston change over the past year. Young Jeffrey lost weight and gained confidence, and both youths have grown physically, mentally, and emotionally more resilient.

The elder Schuler notes that the kids have had to learn to eat right and stay hydrated.

"Wrestlers know that sugar is not their friend," he said.

The mental and emotional resilience comes through being tempered in the fires of a tough and highly personal sport.

Jeffrey recalled crying when he won a match in Reno.

"I didn't know I was going to win that match, because that guy was really hard," he said.

Losing is tough.

"You pretty much wrestle your heart out and you find out you lose - you're surprised and you're mad," Triston said.

That's where the lifelong lessons come in.

"What I do is just get my head together and focus on the next match," Triston said. "That's all you can do."

Both wrestlers like the physicality and the intensity of the sport. And they figure it will make them more formidable on the football field in their other favorite sport. They're encouraging their friends to join them on the mats and in the intensely focused two-hour workouts they consistently put in.

And whatever competition in Pocatello brings, they're ready for it, and they'll come back for more.

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