Jeremiah Reitz is a self-described "adrenaline junkie."
But the Griffith freshman doesn't jump out of planes or bungee jump. He wrestles.
"I do it for that feeling you get right before the match or right after the match, when that work you put in during the week pays off," Reitz said. "It's like being paid. It's like getting a paycheck."
Reitz has been paid well — metaphorically — this season. He's 30-1, ranked No. 4 in the state at 106 pounds and can count himself as both Lake County Tournament and Northwest Crossroads Conference champion.
"He's only a freshman, but he's got a really high wrestling IQ," coach Dan Bedoy said. "He's got all the tools. It's just a matter of putting it all together."
Bedoy calls Reitz a smart, humble kid. Seeing his name on the state rankings or online message boards can be overwhelming, so Reitz tries to avoid the hype that surrounded him before he took a high school class.
"There's no special recipe with this sport. You just have to work hard," Bedoy said. "He's just got to get to the next rung on the ladder and not look past it."
Reitz has taken his game up a notch this season. His technique was never the problem, but this season he's worked on his physicality and getting into his opponent's heads.
It has made all the difference, he said.
"I've worked on my confidence and I'm starting to trust myself," Reitz said.
He's got second- and third-place finishes in the middle school state championship under his belt, plus a host of top 10 finishes in regional and national tournaments dating back almost five years.
"I'm trying to get him to enjoy each moment," Bedoy said. "He's looking toward state, but he should know that winning the conference is cool and winning the sectional is cool, too."
Reitz has eyes on only one prize, though. In fact, he says he wants four state championships before he leaves Griffith and knows what he'll be doing if he doesn't get one this season.
"I'll be in some sort of practice room the very next day," he said. "That'll give me the drive to make sure I get there next year and not be satisfied."