Mound-Westonka's Tyler Hebig is a wrestling rarity.
The senior, ranked No. 7 in Class 3A at 152 pounds, doesn't wrestle in the spring. Or the summer. Or the fall, even.
Hebig is a three-sport athlete who loves baseball as much as he does wrestling. And he has a fondness for football, too, having recently completed the season as a running back/linebacker for the White Hawks.
A three-time state tournament entrant, Hebig admits that it's unusual for a wrestler to have success if he only wrestles part-time.
"Most of the really good wrestlers at the state tournament wrestle year-round," Hebig said. "I'm one of those oddballs who only wrestles in the winter."
Staff writer Jim Paulsen spoke with Hebig about the upcoming wrestling season.
Q What's the outlook for Mound-Westonka this season?
A I feel really good about this team. We have five state tournament entrants returning, so it looks like we'll be pretty good.
Q You're moving up from 145 pounds to 152 pounds. How much of a change is that?
A One-hundred-fifty two pounds is kind of the beginning where strength is more of a factor and technique is less.
Q How will you prepare?
A I've been in the weight room, lifting, getting stronger. I'll have to be more careful, think over my moves a little more.
Q What are your moves?
A My strength would be my defense. I'm not a big shooter [at the legs]. On my feet, when they shoot, I use my defense to get them into a front headlock.
Q So you're not the type to get a lot of technical falls?
A No, but I do get a lot of pins. When they shoot, I catch them, get them into a side cradle and put them right on their backs.
Q What's your favorite sport to practice?
A Oh, baseball, of course. Wrestling is all hard work.
Q What's the worst thing about wrestling practice?
A Having to give it your all while keeping weight down. Sometimes, you have to do it when you've gone the whole practice without water.
Q You don't wrestle at all in the offseason?
A I do on Sunday. There's a place out in [St. Bonifacius] called the Barn. I'll go out there and roll around a little.
Q Best wrestling memory?
A Going to the state tournament as a freshman. Even though I lost my first match, just being there and walking out on the mat at the Xcel Center, it can't be beat.
Q One thing you can't wrestle without doing?
A Before every match, I go over to my best bud, Ben Rogers, and slap hands. I've been wrestling against him forever, since first grade, I think.
Q What is his weight?
A He's at 145.
Q So you must wrestle him in practice frequently. Who wins?
A We wrestle all the time. Don't tell him, but I usually win.
Q He'll read this and know.
A That's OK. He knows. But he's kind of fragile [laughs].
Q As a football player, you saw both of the Class 4A Prep Bowl teams. Your prediction?
A Hutchinson. But I'd like to see Holy Family win.