By STEVE KRAH
Blake Glogouski wants to ascend to the top of the IHSAA wrestling hill and he wants to get there quickly.
The Fairfield High School senior sees speed as one of his weapons as he looks to add to a prep resume that already includes two trips to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis (he was a state qualifier as a freshman at 106 pounds and placed fifth at 113 as junior). He wants to compete â€œunder the lightsâ€ this time around and speed will be part of the package.
â€œI always push the pace,â€ Glogouski said. â€œMy coaches always tell me to move faster than the opponent and donâ€™t slow down.â€
Falcons assistant Jesse Espinoza is taken with the intensity and toughness packed into an athlete who clocks in at 5-foot-7 and plans to wrestle at 120 on the back side of the 2015-16 season.
â€œItâ€™s hard to explain,â€ Espinoza said. â€œHeâ€™s just one of those kids. You tell him to run through a brick wall and heâ€™ll get through it.
â€œIf you are wrestling in the (practice) room and he gets hold of a leg, it doesnâ€™t matter what you do to him heâ€™s not going to let go of that leg.â€
Dan Glogouski, Blakeâ€™s father and another assistant on Fairfield head coach Jim Jonesâ€™ coaching staff, has watched his son became more of a leader to his teammates.
Maturity and off-season work, including an appearance at the Disney Duals and workouts with older brother Forrest who will again be a teammate when he is joined by Blake at NCAA Division II Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio, in 2015-16, have combined to make Blake a better Falcon since he went 52-3 last winter.
â€œMentally, heâ€™s gotten better,â€ Dan Glogouski said of Blake. â€œItâ€™s from growing up, being a senior, being that leader. Heâ€™s the guy most of the kids on the team look up to.â€
Blake tends to be quiet, but when he uses his deep voice, he commands attention.
â€œHe may be little, but heâ€™s a mighty kid,â€ Dan Glogouski said of an athlete who was also an impact performer on offense, defense and special teams in football for Fairfieldâ€™s NECC big school division co-champions.
While Blake regularly works out with junior 132-pounder Dillon Yoder, he does not shy away from larger wrestlers in practice.
â€œHeâ€™s not scared of anybody,â€ Espinoza said. â€œSome kids will go after him, but after about 30 seconds or so they are done.
â€œHe kind of turns it on.â€
Blake Glogouski began the season at 126, but intends to drop down to 120 because he thinks it gives him a chance to be stronger and for the most success. Of course, he has the prerogative to change his mind.
The highly-ranked grappler said his biggest area of improvement has come in takedowns. He uses about five or six and goes with the shots that opponents canâ€™t easily stop.
With two State Finals appearances, 125 high school victories and numerous Indiana State Wrestling Association laurels coming into his senior season, Blake knows he will see the best others can throw at him.
â€œThereâ€™s definitely a target on my back,â€ Blake Glogosuki said. â€œIâ€™ve just got to work harder.â€
As Glogouski and the Falcons head into the 2016 part of the calendar, the heat will go up in practice.
â€œWeâ€™ll turn up the intensity in practice as we get closer to our conference tournament and on into sectionals,â€ Espinoza said.
On Wednesday, Dec. 23, Glogouski became a four-time champion at Rochesterâ€™s John McKee Invitational. He was named the meetâ€™s outstanding wrestler for the second time.
Fairfield is scheduled to host Churubusco in dual Jan. 5 with the West Noble Super Dual Jan. 9 and Goshen Invitational Jan. 16, followed by the Northeast Corner Conference meet Jan. 23 and Elkhart Sectional Jan. 30. After that comes the Goshen Regional Feb. 6, Fort Wayne Semistate Feb. 13 and State Finals Feb. 19-20.