For The Tribune

Tyler Bicknell said you can learn a lot by watching future wrestling opponents at different tournaments throughout the season.

“I watch my opponents wrestle pretty much throughout the year at different tournaments,” the Seymour wrestler said. “I’ll get a feel from them and I’ll watch for different things, and I’ll pick up on those things. I really don’t have a ’go to’ move.

“I just like to go with the flow because not all the time is the person going to do the same thing. Higher-level people will change it up every single match, so you’re just going to have to sit there and wait for something to get an open shot to have the opportunity to score.”

Bicknell has been successful with that formula as he finished second in the Jennings County Sectional to earn a trip to the regional, and has won 35 matches this season.

Bicknell said every point is important, especially in a close match.

“A lot of time, especially at the higher level, matches will be 0-0 after the first period,” he said. “A lot of people will choose down so you can get that first point because most of the time people can’t hold people down.”

To get an escape, “I just try to fight my way up and try anything possible that he leaves open because people on top will make a little mistake and that can cost them a match.

“I can’t really say I have a favorite (pinning move) because they’re all fun. I just try anything I can. Some guys are more stubborn and they have more strength, and I have to try and maneuver and find something so you can’t always rely on your go to. You have to have backups.”

Bicknell started his wrestling career in seventh grade when a friend talked him into trying out.

He wrestled varsity at 220 pounds his freshman year, dropped down to 195 as a sophomore, dropped another weight to 182 as a junior, and moved back up to 195 this year.

“Having the right mentality I would say is probably the most important thing,” Bicknell said. “Even if you’re not the most conditioned or well physically shaped, if you want it more, or you’re mentally tougher, you can put yourself through more stuff, you’re going to beat that guy.

“A lot of people, especially in wrestling, if they get taken down first, their mentality is ‘he scored the first takedown and this is not a good match for me. I’m just going to lose.’ But, a person with a strong mental toughness would be, ‘this isn’t anything. I’ll make a comeback,’ and they’re usually the people that cause a lot of upsets.”

Bicknell said that wrestling offers more than an extra-curricular activity.

“It teaches you a lot,” he said. ‘It teaches you how hard you’re actually going to have to work if you want to be successful, and what you’re going to have to do to pull out a win. It gets better every year. My freshman year in the varsity lineup I was nervous. But now, as the years go on you get less nervous and ‘It’s another match’ and it’s not that bad.”

At a glance

Parents: Richard and Malinda Bicknell

Sibling: Jessica

Sports: Wrestling, four years

Plans after high school: Attend college, major in computer science

Favorite food: Italian food

Favorite musician: Hopsin

Favorite movie: “Saving Private Ryan”


Q: How does the regular season schedule prepare for the wrestling postseason?

A: “It helps us a lot because especially at Mooresville you’ll face bigger teams like Cathedral and those big-name, kind of intimidating people. The way I look at it is everybody is the same pretty much. You’re going to get a lot of experience win or lose, and by the time you get to the sectional you’re like “I wrestled this kid and only lost by this many points.’ I can do this. He didn’t beat me that bad.”

Q: What was it like being named a captain your senior year?

A: “It felt pretty good because just because you’re a senior doesn’t mean you’re going to be captain. You have to work for that leadership and that responsibility, and you’re going to have to earn it. It’s a lot of work trying to be a leader, especially because we have a lot of younger guys, so it’s hard for four of us to keep these guys in line. I try to be a good leader to look up to.”

Q: What was it like wrestling at the Lloyd E. Scott gymnasium?

A: “I enjoyed them because I love wrestling at home. There is no other feeling. You have more confidence you’re like “I’m at home, I’m on my turf. I’m going to win this.”

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