Name: Evan Reilly
Sport: Wrestling, senior
Why he was selected: Reilly won the 138-pound title and earned the Lower Weight Outstanding Wrestler honor at the 36th annual Prairie Central Hawk Classic in Fairbury, leading Sandwich to the team championship.
Reilly was voted by readers as the Record Newspapers Athlete of the Week. Here is his interview with Sports Editor Joshua Welge.
Welge: How big was it to win that tournament?
Reilly: It was pretty fun to win that tournament. My sophomore year I got second, so to come back my senior year to the same tournament and win it felt pretty good.
Welge: Did you know any of your opponents? What happened in the championship match?
Reilly: I didn’t know any of my opponents other than the Prairie Central and Plano kids because I had wrestled them at the Plano Reaper Classic. The championship match, I just stuck to my bread and butter and scored a lot of points while having some fun.
Welge: How do you feel about your season so far? What do you feel are some of your biggest wins?
Reilly: My biggest win as an individual was probably over Yorkville Christian’s 138, but as a team we had a big win against Seneca in a dual meet, which was very exciting. My season this year feels really good because I have just learned to stick to what I know to do and also have fun with it because it’s just wrestling at the end of the day.
Welge: How did you get started in wrestling?
Reilly: I got started into wrestling when I was probably around 5 or 6 by my dad. But I didn’t really get into it until my sixth grade year of middle school.
Welge: What do you consider your career highlight so far?
Reilly: The highlight of my career would honestly just be being a good mentor and role model to the younger guys. I still remember the older guys from my freshman year, and if I can make an impact like that then that is what’s most important to me.
Welge: How have you improved this year?
Reilly: This year, I’ve been focusing on just letting everything let loose and just having some fun while I’m at it. The mental aspect of wrestling is a huge part of it so I’m taking more time for solely the mental aspect of it.
Welge: What are your goals for the rest of the season?
Reilly: My goals for the rest of the season are to make it downstate and come home with a medal.