Preston Bowshier is Kenton Ridge’s most accomplished wrestler, but he wants to share the spotlight.
So before this season, Bowshier, a junior, became a recruiter, going after schoolmates he said could help fill empty weight classes and would benefit by being on the team.
“I tell them it will help them with anything,” Bowshier said. “It will make your mindset want to do better in school.”
But Bowshier’s efforts didn’t produce the results he wanted.
“They actually came to a couple open mats,” Bowshier said. “But then once they saw how hard it was they stopped.”
That brand of hard work has not scared off Bowshier. He didn’t expect to wrestle at the Division II state tournament as a freshman, but he did and placed seventh at 112 pounds. Bowshier returned to state last year at 126 pounds and placed fifth under the direction of new head coach Cameron Doggett, who learned wrestling at perennial Division II state champion Graham.
“Sophomore year I expected it because we got these new coaches and they started pushing us a lot harder,” Bowshier said. “We had morning practices and practices right after school and an optional practice later that night if you wanted to come and work on technique.”
Bowshier is 25-2 this season at 132 pounds and recently surpassed 100 career victories. He placed second behind Graham’s Micah Jordan at the Greater Miami Valley Wrestling Association Holiday Tournament. Jordan won the state title last year at 126.
“He’s a hard worker and definitely has a lot of skill, which helps out all his teammates when they wrestle him in practice,” Doggett said of Bowshier. “He’s a good kid and he goes to battle when he steps on the mat.”
Despite moving up to 132 pounds Bowshier has confidence in his goal to place higher at state because he doesn’t have to work as hard to make weight.
“I’m eating fine and not cutting out my diet,” he said. “I’m feeling strong and healthy, so I feel like I’m ready to go.”
While Bowshier didn’t have the recruiting success he wanted, he might have more company at the state tournament this year. Doggett said there are four other Cougars good enough to advance to state, and Bowshier credits his coach for the improvement.
“You used to just do whatever you want, maybe goof off in practice,” Bowshier said. “He’s completely different. During practices I’ll think I’m about done, like I can’t give anymore, and he’ll just keep pushing us and pushing us. And something I thought I could only go for so long at, I go way beyond that.”
Bowshier wants to study pre-med in college, but he doesn’t want to give up wrestling to do so because of what the sport has meant to him.
“It’s really fun going out there and beating up on people and just showing who’s more dominant,” he said. “Once you’re a wrestler you can just about accomplish anything in life if you put your mind to it.”