By PATRICK MURPHY – For The Shelbyville News
For Shelbyville’s Chayce Collier, wrestling is in his family history. All of three of the Collier boys: Jacey, Damion and Chayce, a sophomore, have wrestled under SHS head coach Adam Miller. However, for Chayce (132 pounds), Saturday will be the first time anyone in his family competes at semistate.
At the beginning of the season, Collier said all he wanted to do this season was wrestle his best and improve from last year. At the regional last season, Collier wrestled against Alec Viduya in the first match. Collier lost while Viduya won the regional and advanced to semistate. But this year has been different. This season, Collier advanced one step further than last year for his first semistate appearance.
“It’s going to be an experience,” Collier said. “It’s a new thing to me, but I think I can fight through it. I think I can continue on this season and advance to state.”
At practice this week, Collier said he has been encouraged by coaches and teammates to work hard. He has learned a lot about himself this season.
“I have much more endurance than what I thought I would,” Collier said. “I can fight through a lot of things and never give up in a given match.”
On the SHS team, Collier is considered a “wild card” wrestler. Miller stated that Collier is one wrestler that should not be counted out.
“Chayce knows what his abilities are and knows what to do,” Miller said. “He’s one of those kids any time you wrestle him, he’s going to go hard, whether he’s down 10-0 or he’s up 10-9. Chayce is going to continue wrestling in the match. That says a lot about him. You see some kids come out and they just don’t be aggressive. He’s one that’s going to be aggressive.”
At this part of the season, Miller and his coaching staff are not teaching Collier new aspects of wrestling but rather working on aspects that are important to his match.
“We’re just fine-tuning everything,” Miller said. “I call it trying to make fewer mistakes each week. But other than that, it’s just like every other day like we have been wrestling. It’s just a little bit harder now that we’re getting to basically the best of the best wrestlers.”
Collier is not the only wrestler for SHS to recently advance past the regional. Last season, Dillion Berry (106) advanced to the semistate but lost in the first round. Miller said it’s great to see his wrestlers advance past the Warren Central Sectional.
“We have one of the toughest sectionals in Indiana,” Miller said. “As long as you keep moving on in the postseason, it always says a lot about our program that we’re coming along. We’re starting to get the numbers and put Shelbyville on the map.”
At the New Castle Semistate on Saturday, 16 wrestlers in the 132-pound weight class, including Chayce, will have a chance to advance to state. For his family, Collier said he’s hoping to represent them and wrestle his best.
“I hope I get to wrestle some really good kids and put up a fight,” Collier said. “That’s all I can say. It’s a goal to make it to state, but it’s not going to be easy.”
Patrick Murphy is a Sports intern for The Shelbyville News. Follow Patrick on Twitter @PMURPH505.