COLUMBIA — Whether the culmination of a young wrestling career or a milestone of remarkable consistency, getting to 100 career wins in wrestling is a major accomplishment. For Rock Bridge senior Kyle Lewis, the moment came just last week.
Lewis,a member of varsity for his entire high school career, secured victory No. 100 in the Bruins 39-31 loss Thursday against visiting Fulton. Lewis posted a 12-3 victory over Fulton’s Ryan Fritz for his benchmark win.
“The keys to getting to that many wins is having experience before reaching high school, starting on varsity as a freshman and improving through the years,” Bruins coach Brook Harlan said.
Lewis, including his four years with the Bruins, has wrestled for 11 years. He competed in area youth wrestling leagues before joining Rock Bridge. He got into the sport when his older brother first started wrestling as a freshman in high school. The sport piqued Lewis’ interest right away, and it has been a love affair ever since. Lewis said that his 100th win is one of his two most memorable moments as a wrestler, with the other being a state qualifying victory his sophomore year.
Getting to 100 wins is no easy task, however.
“It takes love of the sport, the drive to compete, the drive to win and having family and coaches to help,” Lewis said.
Lewis, 34-2 on the season, is ranked sixth in the state in the 145-pound weight class, according to Missouriwrestling.com. Despite the career-long successes, Lewis remains focused on the rest of the season.
Three weeks remain in the Rock Bridge wrestling season, with senior night Tuesday. Following that are two duals before the Bruins compete in the district meet and state finals. To qualify for the state finals, wrestlers must finish in the top four in their weight class at the district meet.
Lewis said his goal is to finish in the top two at districts in order to get a high seed at the state tournament. Harlan said he thinks Lewis has a shot at winning a medal at state.
The final match of this season may be the final match in the wrestling career for Lewis. Despite some interest from colleges and universities, including Northern Illinois, he has yet to decide on his wrestling future.