OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — It's been quite a long road for Blue Valley Southwest Senior Wrestler Cordel Duhart. That road culminated with winning back-to-back Kansas Class 5A state wrestling championships at the 220 pound weight division and finishing the season undefeated. He also helped the Timberwolves win their third straight Eastern Kansas League Championship.
The strategy for defeating Newton's Cyle Gautschi in the championship match over the weekend was to not allow his opponent to get comfortable.
"[I was] just like applying a lot of pressure and like staying in my position," Duhart said. "Like, I didn't want to let him do any of his moves. [It was] just me sticking to stuff that I'm good at."
Timberwolves wrestling head coach Cody Parks is certainly very happy to have a guy like Cordel on the squad and understands the gravity of Duhart's accomplishments.
"I think, you know, to win it the first time, you know and he had one loss, and then to come back and be undefeated, I think that's a tremendous amount of pressure," Parks said. "But, I don't think he felt it. I think he felt like, it was okay to be chased. It was okay for people to come after you. And, it was okay to be the guy. And, I think your team really rallies around that."
Cordel is well-liked by his coaches, teammates and friends wherever he goes. But, those around him say that comes simply because he appreciates everybody particularly those on his team that are trying to get where he's at.
"We're all really tight. I mean, we see each other in the hallways and talk. We get here [to the wrestling practice room] and we crack jokes and hang out," Duhart said.
NOTE: The Hy-Vee 41 Five-Star Athlete of the Week segment airs every Wednesday during the 10 p.m. sportscast for the entire school year.