Staying flexible

For The Tribune

John Newton said he feels the reason he has been successful on wrestling mats is because of his ability to be flexible, which allows him to make adjustments throughout the match.

“I don’t have a specific takedown move,” Newton said. “I just look at his stance and go with whatever is working. I think my legs are my strong point. Anything I can get with my legs helps, but I’m pretty physical everywhere.

“I’m pretty good overall. I do what the other guy doesn’t want me to do.”

Newton said his position for the second and third periods depends on the score of the match.

“It also depends on how exhausted I am or he is,” Newton said. “My conditioning is pretty good. We have a great conditioning program with our team, so whatever opportunity is there go for it.”

He said that when he is riding his opponent, “you don’t want to let him get to his knees. You want to keep him flat and try to put him on his back.

I can close pretty well. When you’re on the bottom it’s all or nothing. You’ve got to give it everything you’ve got if you’re behind.”

Newton is one of the team’s leader in pins on the season.

“I take whatever is there,” he said. “Wherever his wrists are there is different things you can do.”

The senior began wrestling in elementary school.

He was a member of the Seymour Wrestling Club, then competed in middle school and has been in the varsity lineup throughout high school.

“I started at 195 (pounds) — I’ve always been heavier,” he said. “I went from 195 to 182, to 170, and now I’m back at 182 this year.”

Newton said that weightlifting is important to becoming a better wrestler.

“I think this summer was my best summer because I went to the gym every day by myself,” Newton said.”I went all of our practices where we lifted and, and I went to a couple camps and I think that made me a lot better.

“Sometimes I would take other wrestlers with me to go lift. I got good at it and I needed a spotter. Before I would lift, I would run two miles. I had designated days where I would do arms, legs, and back and shoulders.

Newton was 27-8 heading into the sectional, and helped the team break the school record for number of dual meet wins in a season with 22.

He placed first in two tournaments, at Scottsburg and at Bedford North Lawrence.

Newton said wrestling a single match on a Tuesday night, or wrestling four or five times on a Saturday is a matter of conditioning.

“It’s another part of conditioning,” he said. “I think the longer we train the more durability we can get and the longer we can last. I wrestle one match or I can wrestle five different guys in one day.

“We’ve definitely had some easy competition, and we’ve also had difficult competition, and I think a mixture of those two prepared us for the sectional.”

In the fall, Newton also enjoyed playing tennis the past two years.

“I had friends encourage me to play,” he said. “I liked doubles because you had a partner. It helped with team bonding.

“I switched it back and forth between right side and left side. I had multiple partners the last two years.”

Newton, who is right-handed, said his backhand improved a lot.

He was a member of the 2016 Seymour Sectional championship boys tennis team.

“I liked playing at the net,” Newton said. “I probably had one of the fastest serves on the team, but it was 50-50 whether it was accurate or not.

“I think my favorite part was how the team connected. We were a good team and we had a lot of fun.”

At a glance

Parents: Doug and Sherri Newton

Siblings: Eren, Brie, Tyler, Noah, Zack, Boaz

Sports: wrestling 4 years, tennis 2 years

Athletic highlights: helped wrestling team post school record number of wins (22), tennis- 2015 sectional champions

Organizations: band, National Honor Society

Plans after high school: attend college, study physical therapy

Favorite food: eggs

Favorite TV show: Weather Channel

Favorite movie: “Happy Gilmore”

Favorite athlete: Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs

Q&A

Q: What’s it like attending SHS?

“The people here are pretty nice. I’ve got a lot of friends here. The teachers will work with your schedule. I think I provide a positive atmosphere to people around me. There are lots of opportunities

“You’ve got to take advantage of it while you have it because I’m sure life is going to be a lot tougher when I’m no longer here.”

Q: Do you train closely with your brother Zack?

Q: “He works out with me in the summer and everything. Most mornings we’ll get up and go lift, even during the season. It’s nice having someone I can connect with. I try to help him out as much as I can. I have experience and I think that can help him.”

Q: Is the wrestling team close?

A: “The team, over the years, has gotten better because of all the off-season workouts and everything. We have a pretty strong bond and I think that helps everybody. When you see somebody win you want to do just as well as him.”

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.