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By David Pan 

Mariner’s Weaver eyeing another Mat Classic medal | Wrestling


Last updated 12/13/2017 at Noon

It finally clicked for Levi Weaver in the sixth grade.

Throughout the years, he had played different sports without much success.

Weaver then decided to check out the Olympic View Middle School wrestling team.

“I’ve never been good at any sport ever,” the Mariner senior said. “I couldn’t catch any balls, throw any balls or run very fast. But as soon as I tried out for wrestling, I was a natural. I loved it from the very first day until now.”

Last season, Weaver became the first Mariner wrestler to medal at the state tournament since 2012. He took fifth place in the 4A 138-pound division.

“That was my goal for last season – to end with a state placement,” Weaver said. “But this year I’m shooting for much higher.”

Mariner coach Maximilian Welsh, who was an assistant coach last season, first met Weaver when he was in middle school. Welsh, the Mariner wrestler who medaled in 2012, has worked closely with Weaver and wasn’t surprised by his success at the state tournament.

“He had a real good competition,” Welsh said. “He was just a tough kid with good moves and real solid technique. He had a real desire to be successful.”

Weaver is making a fairly significant jump in weight this year. To start the season he’s wrestling at 182, but it’s likely he’ll end up at 170 by the end of the season.

The weight gain is mostly a result of spending a lot of time weight lifting.

“I was making sure that my strength was coming up,” Weaver said. “I didn’t want to gain too much weight and not have that strength advantage. I was really focused on lifting heavy during the offseason.”

In addition to regularly hitting the weight room, Weaver wrestled freestyle and participated in the Western Regional tournament last summer.

Welsh said that Weaver has done a good job of preparing himself to make another strong postseason run.

“We’re real proud of him,” Welsh said. “He’s working hard. He’s staying after practice, doing everything right, doing everything extra that he can.”

Some of that work includes extra mat time with Welsh, who is about the same size as Weaver.

“He’s a really determined coach,” Weaver said of Welsh. “He’s a huge reason why I am where I am today.”

Weaver said that consistency, whether it’s in the weight room or on the mat, is critical to his success.

“I’m working all the time,” he said. “You can’t be consistent for one week and take a month off. It gets much easier once you get the routine. When you get into that routine, it’s easier to keep doing it. Getting started is the hard part.”

Welsh noted that Weaver has strong support from his parents, who regularly attend their son’s matches.

“Levi has a great support network. He has a great family,” Welsh said. “We see his family all the time. They are a big part of the wrestling team. They are always giving us support.”

That support is helping Weaver on the mat.

At the Mariner Holiday Tournament earlier this month, Weaver did not allow an offensive point en route to a victory in the 182 division.

“I just go out and do what I love,” Weaver said.


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