By George Deljevic & Amanda Fileccia
Junior wrestling captain Will Feldkamp joined an elite group of wrestlers from Dexter to have won 100 wrestling matches.
“It was a great accomplishment for me,” Feldkamp said, “My dad [won 100 matches] and it was great to have that feeling…It amazed me to think about it.”
Feldkamp’s wrestling achievements include being named second team all conference twice in his freshman and junior year. He was also named first-team all conference as a sophomore. Feldkamp was a three-time regional qualifier and the district champ this year.
“Will isn’t really worried about 100 wins,” assistant coach Jeffery Oesch said. “He’s got loftier goals than that, so the 100 wins was just another stepping stone to his other goals.”
“I really think that if I work harder than the guy I’m wrestling I’ll win every time. I have no doubt I can beat the best; I’ve done it before.”
At the beginning of this season, Feldkamp suffered an ankle injury, but he was able to overcome the setback and win the Defiance Tri-State Border Wars Tournament in Ohio. It’s safe to say that Feldkamp isn’t letting his injury stop him from achieving his goals.
“I started the year off a bit shaky, with my ankle injury and having to deal with my first two losses,” Feldkamp said.
According to the high school wrestling handbook, when an athlete can’t compete for any reason the athlete must forfeit therefore losing the match. In Feldkamp’s case he couldn’t compete due to a faulty ankle, but both matches that he couldn’t participate in were counted against his record.
After recovering from the injury, Feldkamp continued his streak of beating talented wrestlers from all over the state. That was until Feldkamp met 5th ranked Dylan Powers from Saline High School. After Feldkamp won their first meeting, Powers evened the series by winning their second meeting in the conference finals. Even though his record is now 37-3, Feldkamp remains positive and hopeful for his future matches.
“I really think that if I work harder than the guy I’m wrestling I’ll win every time,” Feldkamp said. “I have no doubt I can beat the best, I’ve done it before.”
Currently, with a 37-3 record this season, a district championship and a regional championship under his belt, Feldkamp only plans to get better as the year goes on.
“He’s tough. I’d like to see him near the top of the podium if not the top of the podium at the state finals by his senior year,” Oesch said.
Feldkamp believes he is capable of topping the podium this year.
“I’ve had a great year, and I’m ready to have an even better districts and regionals,” Feldkamp said. “I know I can win a state championship.”
Feldkamp is one of three captains on the 2015-2016 wrestling team. His teammates and coaches believe his work ethic and leadership have set him up to be a successful team role model.
“He is a leader on the team and his teammates respond well to that because he is willing to step up and wrestle guys that are extremely tough… he wants to wrestle those guys,” Oesch said. “Every time he beats a ranked or state ranked opponent it fires up the team.”
Feldkamp combines a dedicated work ethic and a flawless technique to be a fierce competitor.
“He has been hitting the same move basically since he was born,” Oesch said. “He is really good at the relatively few moves that he does…he hits the same moves all the time but he is so fluid with those moves…that he can hit them from anywhere.”
Feldkamp hopes to continue his career in wrestling past high school and moving up to the college level. Currently Northern Illinois University is the top contender for college.
But until then, Feldkamp has unfinished business to take care of.
“Will is very capable of going far in the state tournament,” junior Nate Skinner said. “I believe his work ethic makes him almost unstoppable.”