For The Tribune
Sometimes when athletes enter high school they have a choice: either join an individual or a team sport.
Seymour senior Josh Rohde decided his talents best suited him for an individual sport — wrestling.
Rohde began wrestling at Seymour as a freshman following in the footsteps of his older brother, Richard, who graduated last year.
On the mat, Rohde feels it’s important to get off to a good start by recording the first takedown.
“The first takedown makes the match,” Rohde said. “You’ve got to be the quickest guy there and get the takedown before he does. I try to break them down before I try to put them in a half (-nelson).”
Rohde said the half-nelson is his favorite pinning move.
In the first period, Rohde uses his time to figure out his strategy for the remainder of the match. Every match has a different approach for the senior.
“It’s hard to plan out what they’re going to do, so I just try different things,” Rohde said.
A lot of Rohde’s wrestling strategy relies on memories of the previous matchup against his opponent.
“I try to remember what I did against them the last time I wrestled them,” Rohde said.
Rohde has wrestled varsity all four years and was at 106 pounds as a freshman.
He began his sophomore year at 113, then he moved up to 120 during the season, and he has remained there ever since.
Conditioning plays a large role in Rohde’s successes during meets.
“We have a set of conditioning drills that (coach Todd Weaver) has us do,” Rohde said. “We do them at the end of every practice. We’ll do those, and we do a lot of one-on-one back and forth. We do our running in the gym. (Coach) said that he would like practices to be harder, but shorter, come the end of the year.”
Weaver has acted as the Owls’ coach the past two seasons.
Rohde said the team lifted weights on a regular basis at the beginning of the season but have cut back on weightlifting.
“(Weaver) wanted to build up our muscles at first, and then he kind of changed over to working on the mat and getting better at that,” Rohde said.
One of Rohde’s strongest moves on the mat is being able to get a reversal if he is behind in the score in the third period.
“I try to do a switch,” Rohde said. “It’s where you place your left hand over your right hand and pull your hips out.”
While he hasn’t advanced in the postseason in the past, Rohde’s determined to make waves this Saturday at the Jennings County sectional.
“I need to stay focused and work my hardest,” Rohde said. “The mental part is a big part of wrestling. You always have to be ready for your match. The coach always says you can’t look tired, otherwise your opponent will know your tired. You’ve got to look like your ready to go.”
Seymour has been an ideal location for Rohde, in virtually every aspect, since he moved states.
“I love Seymour,” Rohde said. “I like the people I’ve met since I moved up here (from Florida). They are a whole lot better than the people I knew down there. I feel like high school has gone by too fast. I’ve enjoyed being able to meet all the people, and the experiences of wrestling.”
Parents: Ivan Rohde and April Rohde
Siblings: Richard, Samuel, Amy, Michael, Anthony
Sports: wrestling 4 years
Favorite away gym: Bloomington North
Plans after high school: attend Vincennes University
Favorite food: Chinese
Favorite TV shows: “Supernatural” and “The Walking Dead”
Favorite band: Three Days Grace
Favorite movie: Anything “Marvel” based
Favorite books: “Rot and Ruin” series