Athlete of the Week: Cole Gentsch


Gentsch is undefeated and has helped the Ironmen to an 8-1 team record so far.

He is ranked 7th in the IHSA 3A division in the 106 weight class. Gentsch holds first place finishes at the Lincoln Holiday Tournament, the Mascoutah Tournament, and the Zimmerman Invite.

During the offseason, Gentsch competed at the Fargo National Competition and became the youngest Fargo All-American in school history after finishing 6th in the 16u 100lbs Greco-Roman division.

Hardest Part of Wrestling: Being one on one with your opponent on the mat. Unlike other sports, there is nobody to bail you out when you find yourself in a tough situation. Gentsch also said that having to “improvise in a split second” is challenging. “Wrestling is kind of like a dance, but you don’t know what the routine is.”

Biggest Strength as a Wrestler: “How I handle the offseason because when I started out . . . I wasn’t very good. I basically took two years to get my first win.” “My offseason training . . . is what has gotten me to the point where I am.” “I’m not a crazy wrestler. I do the most basic moves, but it works because I fine tune them.”

Pre-Match Routine: “I used to listen to music, but now I don’t because it [has] helped me stay a little bit more calm . . . most of the time I just pace back and forth, and sometimes I try to look as intimidating as I can.”

Competing at the Varsity Level as a Freshman: “I handle it just the way I handle everything else. With my past couple years in junior high I had a target on my back being second ranked in the state, and I never let that get to me.” Gentsch also said that challenging himself with tough competition in offseason tournaments has prepared him well for the high school season.

Favorite Moment of the Season: Winning first place in the 113 weight class at the Lincoln Holiday Tournament. Gentsch bumped up weight classes in order to face two ranked opponents, beating them both.

Source of Inspiration: “I think the thing that inspires me is I can always do better.” Gentsch watches film after his matches “and I’m always pointing out little details . . . that I can say, oh, I need work on this . . . just fine tuning those little details is what keeps me going.”

Favorite School Subject: Math

Favorite Collegiate Athlete: Former Penn St. wrestler and 3x NCAA champion Bo Nickal

What’s Next? Gentsch and the Ironmen boys wrestling team compete at the Morton Invite tomorrow Jan. 8.