CLOVER — Zach Conrad maintained his status among the elite in South Carolina high school wrestling Jan. 22 by winning by decision in a match against York
Conrad has been on a tear on the mat, compiling a 31-3 record and earning a No. 1 state ranking in the 220-pound weight class.
“Wrestling is 75 percent technique,” said Conrad, a junior at Clover High, who has wrestled since the seventh grade . “The other 15 to 25 percent has to do with strength and speed.”
Conrad said getting onto the mat with the proper mindset is critical. “Competitive wrestling requires self-motivation and focus,” he said. “It is a tough sport.”
Clover head wrestling coach Mike Fitzgerald said he is keenly aware of the contributions Conrad has made to the school’s wrestling program.
“Zach is having a great year,” said Fitzgerald. “He has competed against the best in the state.”
In addition to Conrad’s amazing success story on the mat, Fitzgerald praised Conrad for his leadership role.
“Zach’s willingness to help the younger wrestlers on team has impacted the program,” said Fitzgerald. “He has taken control of the team.”
Leadership is a role Conrad said he is willing to embrace. “I like helping the younger players on the team compete,” he said.
Conrad is no stranger to contact sports; he played for the Blue Eagles football team on both sides of the ball, as a fullback and nose guard.
The burly two-sport athlete’s success on the mat hasn’t gone unnoticed in the Palmetto State and beyond. Conrad has been invited to compete in a national competition in about two months at Virginia Beach, Va. The date of the event is yet to be determined.
“I am excited about the opportunity to compete in the nationals,” he said.
Conrad said he sets lofty goals to reach each season. “My goal this year is to win the state,” he said.