Dominating Drexler bros go for gold - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Dominating Drexler bros go for gold


Coming off a Division III state title, the dominance of the Stratford wrestling team continues with the help of the Drexler brothers. Jake, a senior ranks second, in the 152-pound class and his younger brother, Manny, ranks third in 113, but to them, numbers don't mean a thing.

“To be honest, I didn't know what I was ranked before you just told me," Jake said.  "I really don't care about rankings or anyone who is in front of me. I just kind of do my own thing, stay down my path and whatever happens, happens.”

In the last four years, the Stratford wrestling team has produced 36 state qualifiers and 13 state champions. The Drexler brothers are on the verge of the latter. Jake made it as far as the state semi finals and Manny, then a sophomore, made it to the state championship, but lost. 

“For Jake, I was obviously disappointed that he lost that match and we weren't going to be in the state championship together, but I also knew that it still was an individual tournament," Manny said. "I couldn't worry about his situation. I knew I had my own situation to worry about and he knew that as well.”

Clinch fighting, throws, take-downs, joint locks and pins. Undeniably, wrestling is a physically demanding sport, but the emotional aspect is just as present.

“A lot of it is mental. That's kind of where I struggled in my years before high school," Jake said.

To help get him through the mental battle, Jake went to a company called Wrestling Mindset. It taught him how to be motivated, confident and secure.

“When he loses, I'm definitely encouraging of him, but I try not to say too much because I feel like he's definitely aware of the situation," Manny said. "He knows what he needs to do.”

This year, the Drexlers are stronger and rejuvenated. Jake sports a single loss on the season and Manny remains unbeaten in the 113-pound weight class. They do share one similarity--a Bi-State first place title.

“Both taking first...that was definitely cool for my senior year. I really enjoy having him [Manny] on the team," Jake said. "I was just super excited. I came in with the goal of winning it and I told my coaches, it feels a lot better to win this year in the finals.”

Competitive by nature, it should come as no surprise that the Drexlers are on a mission with the same goal: win the state championship.

“It would be pretty cool if me and my brother could do it the same year. We've never discussed it like that, but I'm assuming that's what we're both going for, Manny said.”

“Winning state, that was my goal last year. I came up short of that, but that just motivated me to work harder that off-season and this season to make that goal happen," Jake said.

Jake may be moving on to college next year, but that means next man up for the Drexlers. The youngest of the three brothers, Gavin, is a soon-to-be freshman. Head coach Joe Schwabe says that should not only help fill Jake's void on the team, but it will undoubtedly spark a new brotherly dynamic.  

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