LANSING | Illiana Christian senior Zach Groen took more than a title from a recent tournament in Wisconsin.
Groen won the 170-pound class at the Oshkosh Lourdes On the Water Classic and he said it made him realize what he could do.
"It was a confidence builder," Groen said. "Last year I was third and to win it and to face the tough wrestlers I did, it proved to me that I can compete and beat them."
He is currently 32-0 and has a bigger goal.
"I want to win state," Groen said. "This is my last year and last year I did not do so well. I feel I am wrestling real well and I can get better."
One of the reasons he said he is having a great year is conditioning. This is his third year at 170, so keeping his weight and staying in shape has been a workout in itself.
"I have done a lot more one-on-one wrestling and worked with our guys in the wrestling room," Groen said. "The key is to get better and learn from every match."
Illiana coach Dean Bosman said Groen can achieve that goal if he continues working hard.
"Winning in Oskhosh was really big for him," Bosman said. "Those were wrestlers he hasn't seen because they were from Wisconsin and Minnesota, so for him to go up there and do what he did, it sets a nice tone, but he has to continue wrestling like that."
Groen, a Munster resident, said he wants to be a police officer, where being in top shape is a plus.
"I just like working with people and as a police officer, you are in contact with people," Groen said. "It is just something I wanted to be. I know you have to be in good shape because of your responsibilities."
Bosman said Groen has shown what he expects from his seniors.
"He does make the younger kids work harder because they see how hard Zach works," Bosman said. "He is also willing to take time in the wrestling room to work on getting better."