By JEREMY HINES
Old western movies often ended with the hero riding off into the sunset. This signified the job was done – no matter how dangerous, or how challenging that job may have been. Columbus East wrestler Kade Law is hoping he has his riding off into the sunset moment this winter. To do that, he has to emerge as the top wrestler in his weight class at the state tournament.
“My goal is to win the state title,” Law said. “Last year I lost to the runner-up, by two. I was right there. And I definitely have improved.”
Law is currently ranked No. 2 in the 160-pound weight class, the same class he competed in last season. He’s ranked behind last year’s 152-pound champ, James Conway of Floyd Central.
“Kade is incredibly quick,” Columbus East coach Chris Cooper said. “We’ve had good kids in our room, but I don’t think we’ve ever had a wrestler that is more explosive than Kade. His quickness level is off the charts.”
Law says that explosiveness comes from confidence.
“I think it comes from being confident,” he said. “I am confidant in any shot I take. I set my feet and try to blow through my opponent.”
The quest for a state title hasn’t been an easy one for Law. As a freshman he broke his nose in practice the week of regionals.
“I was wrestling a kid in the practice room, and I got my nose broke,” Law said. “I had two nose surgeries, one right before semistate and one right before state. I had to wear a mask, and I didn’t like it at all. It was very hard to see out of.”
Law has had a total of four nose surgeries.
Two years ago he tore his MCL right before the sectional.
“I had to do a lot of physical therapy after that injury,” Law said. “When I first came back on the mat it was hard to even shoot. It took me a while to get back to where I was comfortable. I didn’t start feeling well until about mid-season.”
This year he is hoping all that bad luck is behind him. He’s ready to go out and show the type of wrestler he can be.
“Kade has improved quite a bit,” Cooper said. “He has always been a good practice, but he is getting so much more out of it this year. He’s a team leader, for sure. He pushes the guys to do their best. He’s much more vocal than he has been in the past. It’s made a big difference. I really think he has a sense of urgency now that he’s a senior. He maximizes every bit of his time in practice.”
Law has verbally committed to wrestle for Purdue next season.
“I went on an official visit, and I really connected with the guys,” Law said. “I like their coach and their philosophy. I loved how they ran practice. Purdue just felt like home.”
Law does not compete in any other sports. Wrestling is his top priority, athletically. It’s the only sport he has done growing up. When he’s not wrestling, he enjoys spending time with his family, and especially likes going boating.
Law is one of six state-ranked wrestlers on the Columbus East squad. Liam Krueger is ranked No. 10 at 113 pounds for the Olympians. Noah Lykins is No. 16 at 120. Jaden Durnill is ranked No. 14 at 182 pounds with Tommy Morrill taking the No. 10 spot at 220 pounds. Senior Ashton Hartwell is ranked No. 7 at 285. Eli Pollitt isn’t ranked in state, but he’s the seventh-rated wrestler at 145 pounds in the Evansville semistate.
“We are a real solid team,” Cooper said. “We’re ranked up close to the top. We want to win 3A duals and compete for a team championship.”