Senior, Kurtis Smith, made the Lakes community proud when he left for the IHSA Wrestling State Championship alongside Senior, Isaiah Perrin, on February 19th. The tournaments took place in the State Farm Center, located in Champaign, Illinois. This arena can hold up to 15,500 people. After years of hard work and dedication, Smith got the opportunity to finish off his senior season wrestling the best in Illinois.
Smith’s wrestling career began when he was only four years old and he has now completed fourteen seasons. It is clear that in this sport, athletes can be faced with a variety of physical and mental challenges, but growing up in wrestling teaches valuable life lessons. “It definitely taught me how to persevere through any of my obstacles,” stated Smith. He undoubtedly carried that perseverance with him while preparing for state.
“About a month before the post-season started, every morning I would wake up at 5 am and run miles before school. I worked harder in practice every day and sometimes Levi Smith, a wrestler at UW Oshkosh, would come in and drill with me,” Kurtis said. Bringing his strong mind and skillset with him to state landed him a very respectable ranking of 6th place in Class 2a. Smith added, “Obviously it’s not what I wanted but I feel that I can be proud of the career I’ve had. I set a goal for myself to get on that podium and I achieved that goal. I just have to learn to be proud of myself and accept what happened.”
Kurtis Smith left a trail of inspiring footprints throughout his time here at Lakes. A frequent question is, what will his future hold? Smith is hopeful to continue wrestling in college and is looking to study biology and criminal justice at Grand Valley State University. Wrestling is not all there is to Kurtis Smith, but with the lessons he learned from it, he will continue to achieve his goals and inspire others.