When Cameron Wegener came to wrestle at Lafayette, he wanted to make varsity and a name for himself. He can check off both of those goals.
The Lancers begins the two-day district competition Friday, Feb. 9 at Lindbergh High. They are one of 16 teams competing in Class 4 District 1.
Wegener, a senior in his fourth year on varsity who wrestles at 145 pounds, topped 150 wins in January in his Lancers’ career.
“It’s amazing just being on the team to me,” Wegener said. “I never thought about 100 wins, so it’s cool that I’d get that far.”
Wegener hopes he has more wins in store.
“I’m not finished,” Wegener said. “I could get to 175 when it’s all done. That would be really awesome. That would be third highest in team history.”
The school record is 192 wins.
Coach Jonathan Sumner is impressed with what Wegener has accomplished thus far.
“Earning 150 victories in our lineup is a big deal,” Sumner said. “Just to crack the lineup as a freshman has been a difficult task over the years, and then to win 150 matches in a tough schedule is an amazing accomplishment. It shows how tough and hard-working of a young man Cam is.”
When Wegener came out for the sport as a freshman, he saw the possibility he could earn a spot on the varsity roster, and he did just that.
“It was just kind of surreal,” Wegener said. “I was proud. I was thinking, ‘I’m actually this good to be wrestling with the big kids now.’”
Wegener noted that, in Little League wrestling, he did not have even a glimpse of what was to come in high school.
“I wasn’t really that good,” Wegener acknowledged. “In my eighth-grade year going into my freshman year, I started working with coach Sumner. That’s when my wrestling really took off. That’s when I felt like I could be a good wrestler. Coach Sumner is a huge reason for my success.”
Getting Wegener into the program and learning was essential, Sumner said. He also was better than he said he was.
“We knew Cam had the potential to be great,” Wegener said. “He came in with a great skill set and we saw a bright future for him. His hard work has led him to where he is now as a senior.”
Working to get better is something on which Wegener thrives.
“It takes a lot of hard work, a lot of hours in the wrestling room,” Wegener said. “When you’re in the middle of the mat, there’s nobody else to rely on. It’s just you and the other guy. You can’t point fingers. It’s all on you if you win or lose.”
Wegener qualified for state both as a freshman and sophomore, finishing in the top eight – one match from finishing with a state medal.
It all came together for Wegener as a junior when he placed fourth in state at 132. Finally getting that medal drove him all that much more to do better in his last campaign as a senior Lancer.
In addition to being a standout athlete, Wegener, a team captain this season, has become a role model for his younger team members.
“Cam is a lead by example kind of guy,” Sumner said. “He is constantly taking care of business and doing the right things and other kids look up to him. When you have been to the state tournament every year you have been in high school, naturally, kids are looking at you for leadership. He has done a good job of showing our younger kids what it takes.”
Wegener has set high hopes and expectations for himself.
“I really expect myself to win state this year at 145,” Wegener said. “My main competition will be from Josh Steele of Park Hill and Corey Wait of Francis Howell I think.”
After high school, Wegener said he may wrestle in college.
“I’m still thinking on it,” Wegener said. “One school is Colorado School of Mines in Denver. Maybe Missouri S & T. I want to study engineering.”
Sumner fully supports Wegener wrestling at the next level but admits he will miss having Wegener around.
“Cam is a great young man. Our whole coaching staff enjoys being around him,” Sumner said. “We look forward to a great finish from him this season and, most importantly, seeing him grow into a great man who will pursue his life goals.”