While Cheaney Reichenbacker attended a wrestling camp in fifth grade, he didn’t pursue wrestling until following his eighth-grade season of football when some friends told him he should give the sport another try.
He decided to make a reappearance and said it is one of the best decisions he has made in athletics.
“I thought I’d give it a try and I really liked it,” the Seymour wrestler said. “I stopped playing football so I could wrestle in the offseason.”
Reichenbacker wrestled at 138 pounds his freshmen and sophomore years before moving up to 145 the past two winters
At the start of matches, he looks to get on the scoreboard early.
“I’d say most of the time I can get to where I need to be to score,” Reichenbacker said. “I’m pretty good on my feet. My best thing to do is taking people down. I’ll take whatever is open. I can hit a lot of things, upper and lower body.
“I prefer to shoot for the legs, but if I get into overtime or I’m in a tie, I know of some things I can do there, too. If I can’t really hold somebody up real well I’ll let them up so I can take them down again.
“I pride myself on being really good in a neutral position. I make sure I get the first takedown because I see most of my points being scored from a neutral position. If you’re really dominating in neutral, it might help translate onto the mat.”
Reichenbacker said if he gets his choice at the start of the second period he typically defers to neutral.
When it comes to pins, “I’ll take whatever is there, but what I’m best at, what I do most often is a hammerlock, where you pull their arm out from under them and put them on their back and you push it over,” he said.
All of Seymour’s matches are videotaped, and Reichenbacker studies his matches — especially if he is going to wrestle someone for the second time.
“I look at it and see things I could do different to make it go more in my favor if I lost that match if I did something bad,” Reichenbacker said. “I make sure I don’t make the same mistakes again to improve my odds.”
In practice, the senior tries to set a good example for the other wrestlers.
“Practice is really important, especially the work ethic in practice,” Reichenbacker said. “It directly translates. If you’re not working hard in the room you’re not going to be very well conditioned, you’re not going to know how to do things in a match setting.
“Conditioning is really important. Between matches it doesn’t make much of a difference. You’ll have enough time to recover no matter what your conditioning is, but in a match, between periods, you’ll feel how your conditioning is, if you’re working hard enough or not, because if you’re not working hard enough it’s going to be really tough on you, and your opponent is going to outwork you.”
This year he is 11-2 (going to Evansville today). He started out 13-1 last year.
His his goal is to qualify for state, and in order to do that he needs to avoid careless mistakes.
One of the reasons he loves wrestling s the one-on-one competition.
“When I win all the glory goes to me,” Reichenbacker said. “You don’t gloat about it, but it’s a great feeling having your hand raised, knowing that you just had the dominance over somebody to win.”
On the mat, having a strong mental game can make all the difference.
“I’d say more so than any other sport, in wrestling the mentality of it is very important,” Reichenbacker said. “You have to make sure you have confidence in yourself, but you’re not too cocky about it. It’s a really tough sport. It takes a toll on you, but if you really love it, you work hard and you stick around you’ll do really great things.”
Name: Cheaney Reichenbacker
School: Seymour High School
Parents: Bart Reichenbacker and Christol Ault
Step-siblings: Jacob, Olivia and Payton
Sports: Wrestling, four years
Athletic honors: Most improved, mental attitude, Rookie of the year, 2015 regional qualifier
Plans after high school: Attend police academy
Favorite food: Macaroni and cheese
Favorite TV show: “Walking Dead”
Favorite music: Sam Hunt
Favorite movie: “Jarhead”
Favorite teams: Indianapolis Colts, Jordan Burroughs