CEDAR LAKE | Stevan Micic doesn't mince words when it comes to his expectations for his senior wrestling season at Hanover Central.
"It would be unacceptable (to not win a state championship)," he said.
Indiana Mat ranked Micic No. 1 at 126 pounds in its season preview and calls him one of the best wrestlers in the country. He's No.1 in the state on the Panko Speed and Strength rankings. Asics FloRankings has him at No. 4 in his weight class in the United States. His resume seems to justify the hype.
Micic has a career high school record of 138-5 (95-0 over the last two years) and will be wrestling for his third state championship this season. He finished third as a freshman. He was 2013 FILA Cadet national champion and 2012 runner up. He was 2011 USAW Cadet freestyle national champ, third place in 2012.
Micic has become a household name in wrestling circles across the state and around the country.
"One of our goals is to not let him get complacent," coach Nick Petrov said. "The goal is to win a third state championship. It could be easy for him to relax."
In August, Micic went to Serbia to wrestle in the FILA Cadet World Championships as part of the US national team. He lost his only match to Nematdin Rahmanov of Azerbaijan, setting up his biggest goal for this year: Winning a world championship.
"I want to be FILA Junior world champion," Micic said. "But I take it step by step. I can't just jump into it."
It would be understandable if Micic's had trouble being motivated for a regular-season tournament, but he said he doesn't.
"It can be hard (to stay focused), a little bit, but I enjoy the time with my teammates," he said. "I'm the same way with every match, just trying to win and working hard."
Micic has already signed a letter of intent to wrestle for Northwestern. He'll major in business or economics or marketing.
"Stevan would like to just get this done. He's preparing for the next level," Petrov said. "He has bigger aspirations."