Eric Peterson, Published July 24 2009
Schiller wants more
Schiller put himself in position to earn All-American honors at 189 pounds in Junior freestyle Thursday at the Fargodome. Schiller went 4-0 in pool competition, including three pins and one technical fall.
“He’s definitely in good shape to earn All-American status,” said Team North Dakota Junior and Cadet director Scott Knowlen, who is also co-head coach at Bismarck High School during the school year. “Being 4-0 with the way he’s wrestling, his confidence is up and I see him not done winning yet. … He’s got a chance to be in the finals.
“When you start talking your potential All-Americans, he is right at the top of the list for North Dakota.”
Schiller took seventh place in Junior Greco-Roman at 189 pounds earlier in this tournament, earning All-American status.
“I want to do a lot better than I did in Greco,” Schiller said. “I took seventh and that’s All-American I guess, but I would like to do a lot better in freestyle because mostly I take lots of shots. … I’m not really much of a thrower so Greco’s not so much my game.”
Schiller took third place in both Greco-Roman and freestyle as a Cadet last year.
“He gets better every year,” said Team North Dakota coach Dusty Swanson, who is also an assistant coach at Fargo South. “He loves the sport and you can tell that when he’s out on the mat.”
A few weeks ago, Schiller went to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., to hone his wrestling skills. He was invited there based off his performance in the national tournament last year.
Schiller, a two-time North Dakota Class A state champion, said that was valuable experience.
“It has the best technicians in the world,” Schiller said. “You had Olympic gold medalists showing you stuff every day so you get better pretty quick there.”
Knowlen said that dedication to the sport, coupled with natural talent, is one reason Schiller has excelled.
Schiller’s offensive leg attack stands out for a wrestler of his size, Knowlen added.
Schiller was pleased with the way he performed Thursday.
“My shots are pretty good and crisp, I feel pretty good,” Schiller said. “I’ve got an advantage over all these guys. Living so close, I get to go home and sleep in my own bed every day.”
The Junior freestyle pool wrestling continues today with the finals scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The Cadet freestyle finals are scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. today.
“It’s a test of how tough people are, wrestling both styles,” Schiller said. “You have eight or nine matches each style if you go all the way. It shows you how much guts you have that last day of freestyle.”
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