When Danny Titak came to Todd Adamczyk last spring and told him he wanted to wrestle, the Hebron coach was typically skeptical.
"That's very common," Adamczyk said. "Like so many others, I figured it was all mouth. They’re saying it, but they don't mean it. I didn't think he was serious, but I thought, 'Well, OK, I'll give it a shot. I've got nothing to lose here."
Titak not only came back the second day of conditioning, he's come back every day since. The first-year senior has a record of 16-8 for the Hawks, holding down the 170-pound weight class in a Hebron lineup that's been depleted by injuries.
"It's really panned out," Adamczyk said. "He jumped right in, and you would've thought he was with us all four years. I've known him since eighth grade, and I would've never considered him as an athlete or a wrestler, but he works hard, and he hangs on everything we're telling him. He's a quick learner."
Titak moved to Hebron from Boone Grove during eighth grade. He wrestled in Boone's club for four years when he was in elementary school largely because his older brother was in the sport. Despite going undefeated in eighth grade, Joe gave up the sport, and Danny soon followed.
"I lost interest," Titak said. "I was just doing it, because my brother was in it."
He gave some thought to returning as a junior, only to not follow through on it.
"I just decided I wanted to do it again before I got out of high school," Titak said.
The prior experience, albeit limited, was enough to give Titak a reference point and teach him the importance of conditioning. He ran regularly prior to the season so he wouldn't be slammed once actual practices started.
"It was tougher than I expected," he said.
Each day, however, has brought progress, as Titak's record reflects.
"I really just wanted to get to .500 and at least make it to regionals," he said. "There were a few matches I could've done better. I've gotten a lot more confident with my takedowns, pretty much with everything, every position. Since the start of the year, I can really tell the difference. I know a lot more now than before."
Titak is successful with a basic, aggressive approach that's more substance than style.
"He just goes at it full speed," Adamczyk said. "He kind of throws caution to the wind. He's got a come-what-may attitude, and it works out for him."