SHELBY — Wrestlers change weight classes every year, but usually it’s incremental - moving up or down one class at a time. But Cascade junior Caden Crowell made a much bigger leap.
And it’s paying dividends.
Crowell finished in 5th place at 170 pounds after the 2020 State B/C tournament. He spent the offseason adding weight and muscle to jump up four weight classes to heavyweight, went 32-1 during the regular season and now he’s a state finalist after a 10-5 decision over Poplar’s Jacob Berger in the 2021 BC semifinals.
“Just hard work and determination, and it’s been pretty fun,” Crowell said. “A lot of hard work though. Had to face a lot of bigger boys.”
Though Crowell changed his frame, he didn’t change his style. He’s still on the smaller side of the heavyweight spectrum and he says that gives him an advantage against the bigger wrestlers.
“I think what helps is trying to still wrestle like a 170 pounder. They’re not used to it,” Crowell said. “I’m faster. There’s a couple little guys, but I’m mostly faster.”
Crowell will face Glasgow’s Mayson Phipps in Saturday night’s championship match. Phipps, a senior, has wrestled at heavyweight his entire career. He finished 3rd at state as a sophomore, second as a junior but his quest for a title will have to run through a different kind of wrestler than he’s used to.
“I’ve never faced him,” Crowell said of Phipps. “But it will be a good measuring stick. It’s what I need.”