Quade Greiwe and Sean Galligar don’t have to look much farther than how they ended last season to find motivation for the upcoming postseason wrestling tournament.
Greiwe made it to semistate, but lost his opening-round match in Evansville, falling two wins short of qualifying for state at 195 pounds. Galligar finished fifth in the Jennings County Sectional, one place away from making it to regional at 285.
Saturday, the pair of juniors will help lead Columbus East into the Jennings Sectional. Taking the first step and advancing with top-four finishes is the immediate goal.
“My coach reminds me every day, telling me, ‘Hey Sean, did you make it out of sectional last year?'” Galligar said. “That’s pretty much fuel for the fire to make it out of sectional this year.”
Not that they need any extra motivation. Greiwe and Galligar joined 106-pounder Graham Rooks as Hoosier Hills Conference champions from East and have been two of the Olympians’ most consistent wrestlers this season.
“All of those guys have committed to our program and the things we do in the offseason and playing other sports and everything like that,” East coach Chris Cooper said. “It’s not a matter of just wrestling from November to February. Those guys get a lot of mat time in the offseason. They do all the extra things to make themselves successful.”
Greiwe (24-7) is the sectional’s No. 1 seed at 195.
“Quade having success at conference, it’s essentially the same group of guys at sectional,” Cooper said. “I think he’s confident that he’s beaten those guys once, an he has the opportunity to do it again.”
“I want to get first at sectional so I have a good seed going into regional, and then the same thing with regional,” Greiwe said. “I want to place high there so I have a good seed going into semistate. Semistate, I just want to wrestle my hardest and make it as far as I can there and make it to the next level.”
Galligar (26-6) is the No. 4 seed at 285. Two of his losses have been by 1-0 scores to the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds.
“I don’t get too hung up on ‘He’s a 4 seed, or he’s a 1 or 2 or 3,'” Cooper said. “With Sean, we’re throwing in a couple of kids that weren’t in our conference that are high-level opponents. There are four very solid heavyweights there, and if he’s mentally focused, he could be as good as any of them.”
Both Galligar and Greiwe have goals of reaching the state finals.
“I’ve been working with my coaches every day to get better, and I think I’ve improved since the beginning of the season,” Galligar said. “I think if I go in and wrestle my match, I should be able to get first. Right now, I’m taking it week by week, but my end goal is to be a state qualifier.”
That’s the case with Greiwe, as well.
“I’m just trying to improve on what I got last year,” Greiwe said. “It’s a reachable goal, and I want to do something big.”
“If he comes out and wrestles as he’s capable, he has the ability to do it,” Cooper said. “I think he has his mind in the right place now. It’s just a matter of putting the matches together and staying in his position. If he can control the match, there’s no doubt he can make it.”
Galligar started a pair of sectional games, but was primarily a backup offensive lineman for East’s football team, while Greiwe saw action as a backup defensive lineman. They began morning workouts for football last week and hope to become full-time starters this fall.
Galligar, who also throws the shot and discus for the Olympians’ track team, is hoping to earn a wrestling or football scholarship. Griewe figures his best chance at a scholarship is in wrestling.
“We still go to morning workouts for football, but that’s pretty much supplementing wrestling,” Greiwe said. “We’re more focused on wrestling. When football comes around, then it will be football time, but right now, we’re 100 percent wrestling.”
What: Jennings County Sectional wrestling
When 9 a.m. Saturday
Where: Jennings County High School
Teams: Columbus East, Columbus North, Jennings County, Brown County, Seymour, Greensburg, Madison, Scottsburg, Southwestern (Hanover), Switzerland County