Matt dominates the mat

Matt Schoof wrestles his opponent from Portage at LaPorte High School.

Matt Schoof wrestles his opponent from Portage at LaPorte High School.

Drew Hanft, Sports Reporter

At this time two years ago senior Matt Schoof was finishing up his sophomore swimming season. Now, in just his second year of varsity wrestling, Schoof is a sectional runner-up and is preparing himself for himself for the semi-state championship of the IHSAA Wrestling State Tournament. Schoof competes in the one hundred eighty-two pound division for the Wolves. In the sectional championship that took place at LaPorte High School on Janurary 31, the top four place winners at advanced to reigonals. Schoof entered the tournament with a record of twenty-five wins to only seven losses. The senior finished the day with a two and one record after falling against the weight class winner who held a previous record of thirty three wins to only one loss. Schoof won his first match after pinning his opponent in just thirty-four seconds. Schoof advanced to the sectional final after defeating his second opponent by a score of twenty to three. The regional championship took place on February 7 at Crown Point High School. Schoof advanced to the second round after defeating his opponent from Boone Grove High School who held a record of twenty-two wins and six losses. The senior was lost his next match which took him out of running to go to the championship but made up for it by defeating his next opponent to take third place in the meet and advance to semi-state.
Matt Schoof did not grow up thinking about being a high school wrestler, however. “I have always just been a football player and a swimmer.” He believes being a football player has really made him a better wrestler while wrestling has also helped him become a better football player. “Going from football to wrestling is not that much of a transition because they both require speed and strength and going from swimming to wrestling was difficult because of the physical requirements. Wrestling requires a lot more of a tougher mentality and you really need to be in shape,” said Schoof.
Although the senior was just in his second year of live wrestling, Schoof said this year was an improvement in all aspects.  “I was a lot more comfortable on the mat this season and I believe I have definitely improved from last season.”

 

Schoof has always been a team player both on the wrestling mat and the football field. “I am really proud of our team this year as well. This year’s team endured a lot and we dealt with some people quitting but we persevered and have improved so much from last season.”

 

The Wolves had a very young and inexperienced squad last year and finished with a disappointing three wins and were at the bottom of the Duneland Athletic Conference standings. Thanks to the senior leadership and performance of Schoof and his fellow teammates the Wolves finished the season with wins in the DAC and a regular season record of twelve wins and eleven losses.

As the case for most sports teams at the high school, the sweetest victory of the year was against arch rivals LaPorte High School. “Beating LaPorte this year at home was huge for our team and one of the most memorable moments of the season” said Schoof.  However, one memorable moment from the season for him specifically was his victory against a wrestler from Portage.  He and his opponent were in a deadlock of score of seven to seven when Schoof escaped his opponent’s hold and escaped with just ten seconds remaining to clinch the victory. “It should not have been that close, but because it was such a close match and my adrenaline was pumping it was a very memorable moment for me.”

 

The senior credits his teammates and coaches to his success this year. “My teammates push me to do my best and keep me wanting to participate in the sport. Coach Ledbetter has taught me a lot and has made me better. Even when I have felt like quitting in the past, he keeps me together and motivates me.”

 

Matthew Schoof has maintained a 3.8 grade point average and is looking forward to taking the next step in his life.  Schoof is planning on attending the University of Indianapolis and majoring in athletic training. The senior says he will miss the close bonds he has formed with his teammates and coaches during his past two seasons wrestling.  Schoof offered up some advice to his underclassmen wrestling teammates.  “Finish what you started.  Push through the practices even if you hate it and think of what is necessary to become a stronger person both physically and mentally.”   Matt Schoof would like to be remembered for all his time spent in the weight room and was always willing to put in the extra work and help others.

matt schoof

Print Friendly, PDF & Email