02, 2007 11:31 pm
HS WRESTLING: GI's
Schuster is small, but hoping for big results
By Nate Beutel
Greater Niagara Newspapers
GRAND ISLAND — He might
only be 5-foot-3 — on the tips of his toes —
but that hasn’t stopped Lee Schuster from
becoming one of the top wrestlers at Grand
Island High School.
Schuster, a sophomore, said he doesn’t think
of his size as a handicap, but rather a better
chance of scoring a pinfall.
“It’s fine (being short) because the lower
you are, the more leverage you have when trying
to take someone down,” he said. “Most of the
people I wrestle are taller than me so that
means their legs are longer, which is easier to
shoot out and grab them and take ’em down.”
Another way for Schuster to make up for his lack
of size is with technique, according to GI coach
“Sometimes he gives up a lot of size, but he
overcomes it because he’s a very technically
sound wrestler,” the coach said.
Schuster agreed, adding that wrestling is more
mental and visionary than it is physical.
“You have to know how to do it right instead
of just trying to muscle people around,” he
said. “You have to be confident and believe in
your moves and yourself.”
With new state certifications that require a
grappler to wrestle at least half of his matches
at one weight class in effect this season,
Schuster, who has wrestled at 96 pounds the last
two years, was forced to move up. He had planned
to wrestle at 103, but with team personnel and
an unexpected spike in weight because of a heavy
lifting program, Schuster was forced to move up
to the ultra-competitive 112-pound division.
Johnston said the move was unfortunate for his
sophomore standout, but in the end it will only
improve his future in the sport.
“He’s at 112 and he weighs about 105 or 106
pounds, so at times this year he could be
wrestling guys about 10 pounds more than him,”
Johnston said. “It’s a learning process, but
in the long run, I think it’ll make him an
even better wrestler.”
Another thing that Johnston would like to see in
the future from Schuster and the rest of his
young team is a climb toward the top of the
Niagara Frontier League. The Vikings are 3-5
overall and 0-2 in the NFL
“We’re experiencing some growing pains, but
we just have to stick with it,” he said. “We
have a real young team with only three juniors
and one senior and we’re in one of the best
wrestling leagues in Western New York. Grand
Island has never won an NFL championship, so
we’d like to start to compete with the top
Schuster went one step further.
“I think we can take over the NFL in the next
year or two,” he said.
Those are lofty goals, but ones that a little
guy with good moves and a big heart truly
Contact Nate Beutel at 282-2311. Ext. 2262.
• SCHOOL: Grand Island
• SPORT: Wrestling
• GRADE: Sophomore
• WEIGHT CLASS: 112 lbs.
• 2006 RECORD: 10-4
• FAVORITE MOVE: Double leg takedown
• QUOTE: “....the lower you are, the more
leverage you have when trying to take someone
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