WHY HE WAS SELECTED:
Oswego's Zach Sato went 3-0 at the Orange and Blue Mega Duals and is 5-1 over his last six duals to improve his season record to 22-8.
Sato talked to sports editor Joshua Welge about his big week, the season and more. Here is an edited version of the transcript:
Welge: How do you feel your team's season has gone?
Sato: We have had a great season despite losing some of our better wrestlers from last year. We have come back and pushed the boundaries of what some people may have thought we could get done. Personally, I've had a good season, better than last year. I feel I've improved a lot. It's been a good successful season and I feel I'm turning the corner at the right time.
Welge: Any matches from last weekend stand out?
Sato: My first match against Barrington ended up being a kid that I have wrestled since we were in eighth grade. Middle school, he beat me at state. I wrestled him at Niles West and it was close, I won by a point in the last 10 seconds. I beat him 7-1 this time, so it was a major improvement.
Welge: How are you a different wrestler now?
Sato: High school I've matured, I had to grow my body a lot. I have different coaching now. I had a really good club team that gave me a good foundation, built my style.
Welge: How did you get started wrestling?
Sato: I come from a wrestling family – my dad and some of my uncles wrestled, and I started in the second or third grade. I started off in club [his middle school team was Team 1006 Wrestling], it built a good foundation that I've taken to high school.
Welge: What did you do in the offseason to prepare for this year?
Sato: I joined the high school cross country team for cardio and to improve my fitness. Wrestling-wise, I wrestled with Izzy Style, which helped my technique and confidence in general.
Welge: What's your mentality like before a match?
Sato: I feel like I wrestle best when I am relaxed and come out cool. My main priority beforehand is realize and just drill what I have to do, and get my body physically warm.
Welge: What's your thoughts on the rest of the season?
Sato: Really I'm just focused on improving every day. We have a tough regional with very good competition.
Welge: And you're staying at 132 pounds?
Sato: Yes, I started at 126, but I was moved up to 132 and been staying there since the beginning of the season. It's a good fit; 126 was a major cut for me. The opponents were physically smaller but my energy and endurance wasn't there. At 132, I have the energy to compete and I don't lose the muscle mass.