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Blanton gearing up for second straight tournament run

By LOGAN GRESZLER Reflector Sportswriter [email protected] • Mar 8, 2017 at 8:56 PM

GREENWICH —  Hard work is really paying off for Dakota Blanton.

The sophomore at South Central High School will be making his way down to the state tournament for the second-straight year. He is the only Trojan who will be making the trip.

Although Blanton wasn’t able to place last year, that hasn’t stopped him this time around.

“Well, as a freshman I was super nervous. I've been in big venues before but just knowing this is where it matters I got nervous. Now I'm use to the environment down there and know what I'm getting myself into and very excited to prove I belong there. I'm looking towards the excellent competition and the hard work it's gonna take to get in the podium,” he said. “Especially with my supporters. Also I'm ranked pretty high but I'm not going to let that stop me from placing higher on the podium.”

It’s been something he’s dreamed of for a long time.

“Wrestling has been a part of my life since I could walk. I've had great supporters throughout my life such as my family and the oney's. Just the nonstop work and support has helped me to reach this point.”

Blanton said that there is one person in particular that knows exactly what he needs to keep his mind focused.

“My older brother, Dalton,  wrestled and he definitely was the hardest worker out of my brothers, but unfortunately he never qualified for the state tournament. He is by far my greatest supporter. He has helped through a lot even when I wanted to stop and quit pushing, he'd remind me of my greatest goals. Even though he is graduated, he is still working with me nonstop every day,” he said.

Trojan wrestling coach Ken Johnson has also been a huge inspiration for the 120-pounder.

“Coach has always been there for me. He's let me wrestle with him when my junior high practices where done. He'd help me get where I needed to be. When I doubted myself freshman year, he was the first one to tell me not to worry and to wrestle and I'll be at that tournament. We've been talking all year that this is my year to get on the podium. He has been one of my biggest supporters I've had in my life.”

 

Twitter: @logangreszler

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