WORTHINGTON -- Damon Schutz has already seen it all when it comes to high school wrestling. Mostly, he’s taken part in all of it.
Finally a senior on the Worthington Trojans wrestling team, Schutz is competing in 2021 in his sixth year of varsity competition. He was used in a few matches as a seventh-grader, saw more action as an eighth-grader, and went right on competing after that.
Early in his career, he wasn’t just a kid who got onto the mat. He was successful, too. He’s kept right on being successful since then, and is nearly ready to get his name up on the WHS all-time victory board.
When Schutz made the move from youth wrestling to high school wrestling, it required a different level of commitment.
“It was a completely new experience,” he recalled. “It was more matches than I’d done in my youth career. So I had to be able to get used to more matches, and being able to recover quicker.”
Schutz, who quickly learned how to use his long, lean frame for an advantage against his rivals, is determined to finish his prep career strong.
“The best advice I’ve gotten so far, it’s been within the last year or so, is like, I don’t have a whole lot of my high school wrestling career left. Really, it’s just open up and go for it,” he said just prior to the start of active 2021 competition.
Also a member of the WHS baseball team, Schutz might wish that table tennis and cornhole were also sanctioned high school sports. He claims to be “pretty good” in those sports, too -- good enough in cornhole to challenge his dad and win.
He has also worked over the last three years as a landscaper. He loves it because it gets him outdoors, and he loves it even more, perhaps, because it allows him to be creative. “I’m going to be going on my fourth year here. And I just really enjoy what I do. It’s like art, I like to think of it. And when we’re finished, I think it looks pretty good.”
This week’s Globe Drill subject, Schutz is on his way to trying to turn his senior wrestling season into a work of art. You can see his Drill video online at www.dglobe.com. Here’s a sample of the interview:
QUESTION: Your long, lean body appears to give you an advantage, sometimes, over your more compact opponents. How do you use your body type to produce victories?
ANSWER: “Being tall, it helps with having a distance to you. If you’re far apart and your opponent doesn’t like to tie up as much, you can shoot from farther away because you’ve got longer arms and you don’t have to tie up. But personally, I like tying up to create my shot because I think it’s easier. And if I’m on top, I’ve just started to do leg riding. So that really helps because I have longer legs, and I’m going to start doing different moves like cradles and chicken wings because the long arms really help with that.”
QUESTION: Who inspires you in sports?
ANSWER: “My inspiration for sports is Conor McGregor. He’s a UFC fighter. I’ve really looked up to him since probably about the sixth grade. His mentality, the way he views other people -- he’s not scared of anyone.”
QUESTION: Have you got a favorite memory from your athletic career? Something that you’ll always remember?
ANSWER: “One thing I will definitely always remember in wrestling was when I was in the eighth grade and we qualified for state. I was actually the second match for the team, but me and Jaden Hennings really set the tone for the rest of that meet, with back-to-back pins. It felt amazing. I was super-pumped.”