5 questions with … Trevor Painter and Jacob Purdy
Win or lose, the high school wrestling careers of Trevor Painter and Jacob Purdy came to an end Saturday at CIF State Championships in Bakersfield.
The Nevada Union seniors joined juniors Robin Callas (49-8 at 140 pounds) and Tyler Szura (23-14) at the finals, marking the first time in 15 years four NU wrestlers reached state. Painter (32-15 at 152) will be making his first appearance, while Purdy (45-4 at 119) is a three-time state qualifier. Before heading for Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, NU’s senior duo took five questions from Sports Editor Brian Hamilton.
Trevor, what did it feel like securing that state berth?
Painter: “I’ve been working at that for five years now. It was intense. But at the same time, it was like ‘I’m not going to lose. That’s just not going to happen. There’s no way I’m not making it to state this year.’ It was a relief, excitement … just awesome.”
Glad to have this guy going with you, Jake?
Purdy: “Yeah and it’s nice to know we’re all getting better, too. He’s been working as hard as any of us. It’s nice going (to state) this time with so many guys. It shows the team is getting better. I’m going to be able to look back at something this year and be proud I was a part of that team. The team is much closer than ever and I think that shows in how we wrestle.”
Why do you think it’s grown closer?
Purdy: “We’re all committed to this. We’re here at 6 a.m., even the guys who are out of the tournament are still here working with us. It just shows we actually have a family here and it helps us.”
Painter: “Especially with the freshmen and sophomores coming in. That shows they’re dedicated to getting better. They want to do what Jake and I, and Robin and Tyler, are doing. They want to represent Nevada Union at states.”
How do you think you’ll handle being in the spotlight at state?
Painter: “There are always kids at state who freeze up when they see the lights and get nervous. The way I’m looking at it, I don’t have anything to lose, only to gain. There’s no need to get caught up in the idea that it’s a ‘you-have-to-win’ type of thing.”
What about you, Jake,
do you put any pressure
on yourself to perform
at a certain level?
Purdy: “I need to keep those things out of my head. I haven’t done that well worrying about that – going two (losses) and out – so my whole mindset has changed this year. I was putting pressure on myself, wanting to do better than last year. I’m not going to let that be my focus this year.”
– Brian Hamilton, sports editor
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