ALBIA, Iowa — Wrestling is one of few team sports that isolates one person against the other. On the mat it's just you and the opponent that stands before you.
It would be an understatement to say that Albia senior Aden Reeves has been dominant. Last season he went undefeated en route to another state title and this month’s Complete Family Medicine Student-Athlete of the Month has greater aspirations.
Separate myself,” Reeves said. “After last year, obviously I had a pretty good year, the goal this year is to have the most dominant season in Iowa high school history.
Reeves wrestles in the 126 weight class and Flowrestling has him ranked at no. 4 in the nation at that weight.
He has been a state medalist three times and is twice a state champion. His name is already hanging on the walls of the blue demon wrestling room, but the inspiration he leaves for those to follow is parallel to the success he’s had.
“He’s following in the footsteps of another Division I athlete that we’ve got now in Carter Isley,” head coach Dave Wenger said. “There was a time when Aden wanted to be carter and now we’ve got kids that want to be Aden.”
The role of being a figurehead for the younger wrestlers in the room to look up to is not something that Reeves shies away from – but rather he welcomes it.
“It’s awesome to have those guys look up to you,” Reeves said. “It’s really humbling and it’s something when you are a little kid, you look up to those guys and the inverse of that, being one of those guys now is just something that you always dream of being.”
Reeves has been just as invested in his team’s success, as he has been in his own. Never turning down the opportunity to help the rest of Albia’s wrestlers better themselves on and off of the mat.
“He’s really motivational,” senior wrestler Jer McAninch said. “He’s always there, he’s got encouraging words. He knows so much helping us out. He can teach anyone about anything.”
Next fall Reeves will join Iowa State’s wrestling program but even with all that success in his past and potential in his future he strives to prove himself day in and day out.
“I believe that the only pressure you have is stuff that you put on yourself,” Reeves said. “Nationally ranked, top five is really cool, but you take it for what it’s worth."
They don’t raise your hand because you’re ranked higher than the other kid," Reeves said. "It’s coming in and making the investments everyday and still improving.
On the mat you only get six minutes to showcase your abilities, but the passion you show while doing it can be passed down from generation to the next.