By JEREMY HINES
Center Grove senior Gleason Mappes comes from a very tough family. His three brothers were all outstanding wrestlers and his dad was a state champion. But, his mom has taken more wrestlers to school then the rest of the family combined.
“She is our team bus driver,” Center Grove coach Cale Hoover said. “She’s the toughest one in the family. She’s extremely competitive.”
Gleason Mappes is the last in a long line of great wrestlers in his family. His dad, Donald, was a 1978 state champ at Roncalli. His brother Sean won state in 2012 for Center Grove. His oldest brother Shelby placed third in state and his brother Rhett is currently recovering from a knee injury, but is part of the University of Indianapolis wrestling team.
“Gleason is the last of four very good wrestlers,” Center Grove coach Cale Hoover said. “I’ve coached them all. I’ve had at least one Mappes in the room for the 12 years I’ve been here.”
Gleason has been able to learn from his family’s strengths. He’s a three-time state qualifier and a two time placer. He has finished fourth the past two seasons.
“Coach tells me I have a little bit of the attributes of all my family,” Gleason said. “Sean was a very funky wrestler. I try to be funky like that. He also has naturally good hip position and I’ve tried to emulate that as well. Shelby was more of the type of wrestler that just wanted to go in and beat you up until you give in. He’s really good on his feet and good at riding. I’m working to be that good on my feet as well. All of them were mentally tough.”
Mappes has worked on improving his takedown ability since last season.
“My main goal is to make an offense that is dynamic and that can’t be stopped,” he said.
Mappes says the biggest thing his family has taught him is that you move on, no matter what.
“You don’t get hung up on things that happened,” Mappes said. “You keep moving on. You don’t dwell on those things because they will just hold you back. If you dwell on what you could have done, you aren’t going to go much further.”
Coming from such a strong wrestling family, Gleason doesn’t remember a time when he didn’t wrestle. But, he hasn’t had the number of career matches that are normal for a wrestler of his caliber.
“Gleason entered high school with less than 100 matches in his career,” Hoover said. “He wrestled three years in middle school and a handful of club matches. He was a short little fat kid, but you could tell he was gifted and that he had a lot of talent.”
As a freshman Gleason had a rough season. He lost 20 matches that year. Gleason is the only wrestler in at least five years to lose 20 matches and make it to the state finals.
Reaching state lit a fire under Gleason. He came out the next year with a 37-11 record and finished fourth at 160 pounds as a sophomore. Then, as a junior he was 41-3 and finished fourth at 160 pounds.
“Gleason has a tremendous upward climb,” Hoover said. “I really have no idea where his ceiling is. He isn’t even close to it yet.”
Mappes is hoping to be Center Grove’s first four-time state qualifier. Ultimately, he is wanting a chance to wrestle under the lights.
“That’s my goal,” Mappes said. “I want to finish under the lights.”
After high school Gleason is going to wrestle for the University of Indianapolis and he will study nursing. Losing him from the Center Grove room will be tough on the Trojan family, especially on coach Hoover.
“I just feel so fortunate to coach him,” Hoover said. “When I first came here he was in first grade. I’ve known him most of his life. I know for sure I’ll be dominating their family for the wrestling Hall of Fame.”