As of Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Grangeville’s Caleb Barger took second place in the first event of 2019 at St. Maries last week — second only to Chandler Axtell of Lakeland.
“I’m just trying to do my best and get to state,” he said. “126 is a super tough bracket this year. I wrestled 113 last year and it was not as much competition, but for sure it’s super competitive.”
But he likes his chances in the district.
“Christian Fabbi at CV is really tough,” Barger said. “Jim Clark in Potlatch, and all the CV kids, they’re all tough.”
At St. Maries, Barger’s matches went well.
“I didn’t go against Fabbi, but the Axtell kid I faced was 4A and an absolute stud,” he said. “It’s just go as hard as you can. It’s kind of a psychological game you kind of play against yourself as you’re getting ready for that match. It’s a mindset. Mental toughness is a big thing in wrestling.”
He said the best match he’s had so far this season was against Fabbi in Pomeroy.
“It was the first match of that day,” Barger said. “I ended up beating him by three points. ... It just increased my confidence in wrestling and I feel good about it. ... It was fast and intense and it kind of carries over. After he got the lead, he was able to hold on at the end.
“Last round, he was close to scoring on me with a reversal, but I dragged it out to the timer,” he said.
He’s shooting for a top-six place at state.
This week, Grangeville is scheduled to visit Orofino, with Jan. 11 competition in a dual pods format and Jan. 12 set for a tournament.
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