CROWN POINT | Morgan Kral almost never wrestles an opponent as tall as he is.
The Crown Point sophomore is 6-6, and that has its advantages and disadvantages on the mat.
"People who learn to use those long arms and limbs to their advantage have some plus sides," coach Scott Vlink said. "They can get to places shorter guys can't."
But Kral hasn't always been this tall, Vlink said. A growth spurt over the last two years leaves him still learning how to use his length.
Something seems to have clicked, though. Kral is 18-0 and ranked seventh in the state in the Panko Strength and Speed polls at 195. He's got wins against two ranked opponents.
"I want to be standing on the podium at the end of the year," Kral said. "My goal is to be in the top three (in the state). I feel like I can do that."
Kral qualified for semistate last season and lost in the ticket round, but believes he could've finished in the top five as a freshman with a break or two.
He's got the bloodlines. Older brother Tyler, now wrestling at Purdue, was state champion at 220 last year.
"It's very helpful (to have Tyler as an older brother). If I don't know something, I can always call him up and he's ready to help," Kral said.
It didn't take long for Morgan to get out of Tyler's shadow. Early success and the skills he displayed in the wrestling room set him apart.
"I'm not just Tyler's little brother anymore," Kral said. "I don't want to be looked at like that.
"I'm not my brother. We're two different people."
"It's hard to make a comparison," Vlink said, "but anytime you have an older brother like Tyler, you benefit from it."
The Bulldogs, as a team, have had some issues this season compared to years past. Kral says those are due mostly to injuries and starters missing time.
"At the end of the season, when we're good and healthy, we'll be ready to roll," Kral said.