From Sean Wetherell's perspective, wrestling is a love-hate relationship.
During a match, the Alleman senior "loves the individual aspect" and "constant battle" on the mat. When the moment comes for the time commitment and inevitable weight cutting, the dislike enters.
"It's probably the toughest sport you'll do," Wetherell said.
Not surprisingly, it is last on Wetherell's list of favorite ones.
"It's different," this week's Metro Pacesetter for The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus said. "It's more challenging."
Wetherell, though, handles it with ease.
Despite rating wrestling as his least favorite of the three sports he plays behind baseball and football, Wetherell still finds a way to have success. He is unbeaten through five matches this season, with the highlight coming last Saturday when he won the Jim Boyd-Riverdale Invitational 170-pound title.
Included in the season-opening run after bumping up two weights this year are two pins and one major decision. He won his last two matches by decision.
"Going up a couple of weight classes was a big challenge for me," said Wetherell. "Last weekend was a test at how I will do at those weights compared to guys I'm not as big as. I just proved I'm right there with them."
The success brought a smile to Wetherell's face as he recalled the wins, but the moment was not enough to alter his position.Baseball comes first, with football second.No matter what, as Wetherell says, wrestling sits third.
So why wrestle?
"I've done it ever since I was little," Wetherell said. "I always was pretty good at it. I liked the challenge of it. It makes me better in the other sports, too."
Inside the room, there is no hint wrestling is an afterthought.
"He's a competitor," Alleman coach James Ealy said. "Whatever he's doing at the time, he puts forth max effort because that's the type of kid he is. ... He works really hard."
The effort is constant, but there are other things on his mind as well.
"During the winter, I try to play baseball, too," Wetherell said. "I'm always staying in shape for that."
Looking ahead, Wetherell hopes to earn all-state baseball honors as a catcher, duplicating what he did this season as a key member of Alleman's Class 4A state runner-up football team. In between football and baseball, there's an activity he once thought about giving up.
Then he realized it was not so bad.
"Why give it up when I can do well at it?" Wetherell said.
Apparently, he can be as good as he wants to be.
"There are a lot of good wrestlers out there," Ealy said. "There are also a lot of good football players, too. And he was all-state."
On his way to being an all-state defensive back, he appeared in the football state championship game nearly three weeks ago. He was a key part of Alleman's baseball state runner-up team last June.
The state wrestling meet is a little more than two months away, giving him the possibility to reach a final for the third time in less than a calendar year.
Who knows, maybe the elusive state title could come from Wetherell's least-favorite sport.
"That would be very ironic," Wetherell said. "That might change my mind a little bit about ranking my favorite sports. I still love the other two sports a lot."
Metro Pacesetter - Alleman's Sean Wetherell
Favorite food: Lasagna Favorite movie: "The Town" Favorite band: Blink 182 Favorite stocking stuffer: Candy Favorite sports team: Michigan Wolverines Parents: John and Marlene Wetherell, Rock Island
In the running Ben West, Alleman wrestling: Won the 220-pound title at the Jim Boyd-Riverdale Invitational. A.J. Marmion, Geneseo wrestling: His 220-pound pin gave the Maple Leafs a 26-24 win at Moline. Morgan Gerard, Moline basketball: Tallied 20 points and six rebounds in the Maroons' 46-42 Western Big 6 Conference victory over Quincy. Chase Wiggins, Rock Island wrestling: Finished 3-0 to win the 126-pound title at Sterling's Carson DeJarnatt Invitational. Katie Daggett, United Township basketball: Scored 10 points, including seven in the fourth quarter, to help the Panthers to a 47-38 Western Big 6 Conference victory at Alleman.
Today is Monday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We are informed by J.H. Hull that the reason the street sprinkler was not at work yesterday settling the dust on the streets, was because one of his horses was injured. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Bonnie McGregor, a fleet-footed stallion owned by S.W. Wheelock of this community, covered himself with glory at Lexington, Ky, when he ran a mile in 2:13 1/2. The horse's value was estimated as at least $50,000. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Troops are pouring into Paris to prepare for defense of the city. The German army is reported to be only 60 miles from the capital of France. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The German army has invaded Poland in undeclared warfare. Poland has appealed to Great Britain and France for aid. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Publication of a plant newspaper, the Farmall Works News, has been launched at the Rock Island IHC factory and replaces a managerial newsletter. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Officials predict Monday's Rock Island Labor Parade will be the biggest and best ever. Last minute work continues on floats and costumes for the parade, which steps off a 9:30 a.m.