Maize wrestlers place second at state

Isabelle Blasdel, Reporter

Maize High School wrestling took second place at the state championship this year with 124.5 points. All wrestlers placed in the top four. Medalists include freshmen Daniel Gomez, Ayden Flores, sophomores Nakaylen Shabazz, Clayton Bowers, Camden Padgett, Conner Padgett, and seniors Cayden Hughbanks and Mitchael Casement.

Sophomore Nakaylen Shabazz took first place in his weight class and only lost one match.

“All the hard work and dedication I put in this season paid off,” Shabazz said.

Senior Mitchael Casement took second place in his weight class and is attending Sterling College to play baseball.

“I have wrestled my whole life and it definitely has made me a better athlete,” Casement said. “As well as a better person.”

Shabazz says his favorite thing about this season has been the bond with his teammates.

“We have a bond that cannot be broken,” he said. “Even if there are punches thrown, arguments, etc., we can’t get mad at each other.”

Casement agrees that the team is the best part of wrestling and is the reason they did so well.

“Everyone got along really well,” Casement said. “That’s why I believe we were so successful.”

Shabazz has many goals and aspirations for his next few wrestling seasons.

“I’m looking forward to college recruitment’ and getting offers,” Shabazz said. “And last but not least winning more state titles.”

Casement says that his favorite part about the sport is how it is an individual and team sport.

“You are on the mat by yourself,” he said. “But you’re also wrestling for the whole team at the same time.”

Shabazz stays focused during practice in order to improve and wrestle at the highest level he can. Motivation during practice and matches have never been a problem for him. 

“I don’t get motivated,” Shabazz said. “It’s just a habit, it’s something I want to do, and it’s something I cherish.”

The most important thing for Casement to remember while wrestling is to stay calm.

“You can’t let your emotions get the best of you at any point during the match,” Casement said.

Shabazz says that wrestling changed and taught him in many ways.

“If you did this sport, it teaches you something,” he said. “Hard work and heart.”

Casement says he loves wrestling because that is what he grew up around and the sport shaped him to be the way he is today.

“I love wrestling so much because it’s what I grew up with,” Casement said. “It made me who I am and I wouldn’t change it for anything else.