Athlete of the week: Scotland heavyweight Stibral pins way to title at McCook Central/Montrose tourneySCOTLAND — Many believe Scotland wrestler Dan Stibral’s potential is unlimited.
By: Aaron Saunders, The Daily Republic
SCOTLAND — Many believe Scotland wrestler Dan Stibral’s potential is unlimited.
“If he keeps pushing himself, the sky is the limit,” Scotland head coach Joe Walloch said.
So far this season, the heavyweight has backed up his supporters’ claims.
Stibral is ranked fourth in Class B for his weight class, sporting 14 wins and only one loss.
The sophomore’s most recent wins came Saturday with three pins and a technical fall en route to winning the McCook Central/Montrose Invitational championship at heavyweight.
In the three matches at the Salem tournament, Stibral pinned Geoffrey DeVries, of Philip, Trevor Heinemann, from Flandreau, and Burke/Gregory’s Colton Nelson. In the finals, Stibral defeated Parker’s Payton Jensen by technical fall.
“I felt pretty excited about my performance that day,” said Stibral, who pinned Jensen in the finals of the Mount Vernon/Plankinton Invitational for another tournament championship on Dec. 15.
For his efforts, Stibral has been named The Daily Republic’s athlete of the week, an award that’s voted on by the newspaper’s sports staff.
“Dan went out there and did what he has normally done this year,” Walloch said. “He works really hard in practice and it showed up on the mat that day.”
Walloch said Stibral has become a leader on his Scotland wrestling team that has no seniors or juniors.
“Our team is kind of small and he is one of the oldest kids on our team,” Walloch said. “ … He is a big leader for us.”
Stibral said he embraces his leadership role and tries to help his younger teammates improve.
“I usually try to keep the guys going whenever we are in conditioning or if guys are down I try to push them,” Stibral said.
Stibral and the Scotland wrestling team are back in action at the Southeastern South Dakota Conference meet at 11 a.m. Saturday in Chamberlain.