He isn’t the heaviest wrestler in his weight class.
But of all the state meet-bound heavyweights, Quinn York he might be the strongest.
And maybe the quietest.
A teen of few words, the Franklin Community High School junior has quietly forged a 40-4 record heading into tonight’s first round of the IHSAA Wrestling State Finals at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
He earned his first state finals appearance with a third-place finish at last week’s Evansville Reitz Semistate, where he learned lessons he expects will pay dividends this weekend.
“(Last) Saturday I didn’t wrestle as well as I could,” said York, who did not get out of the regional last season. “I feel I need to wrestle a little bigger.”
Weighing between 237 and 240 pounds in any given week, York habitually wrestles bigger than most of his opponents in the 285-pound weight class. He does it by out-maneuvering, out-quicking and, more often than not, overpowering them.
Few can match his strength.
“He’s strong as an ox,” Franklin coach Bob Hasseman said. “He’s a weight room guy, and that’s really his thing. He squats over 500 pounds, he benches well over 300, he power-cleans 300. He deadlifts really close to 600 pounds.
“What he is is flat strong.”
And he makes the most of the advantage.
One of the area’s most improved wrestlers from last year to this year, York survived a brutal postseason heavyweight gauntlet to become one of Johnson County’s five state meet qualifiers. The others are Franklin senior teammate Jake Stevenson (170 pounds); Indian Creek junior Elijah Dunn (152); Whiteland freshman Ryan Hammond (182); and Center Grove freshman Gleason Mappes (152).
To get to this point, York won a sectional championship, was runner-up at the regional and was third at the highly competitive Evansville semistate.
Although the competition is at the highest possible level now, Hasseman is confident York can extend his season beyond tonight’s first round, if he can continue to maximize his primary strength — which is his strength.
“He can pick most heavyweights up, which is really what he does,” Hasseman said. “It doesn’t happen as much now with the better guys, but most of the year, that’s how he’s finished his matches. Take them down to the back, and match over.
“The thing is with that, when you pick guys up and do that, you expend a lot of energy. The big thing for him is conditioning.”
Seeded 15th in the 16-wrestler field, York’s first-round opponent is No. 2 seed Jasion Brogan of Warren Central, a junior with a 38-5 record.
The draw is not exactly favorable, but it’s not insurmountable for a savvy, low-key, physically strong wrestler who has performed big on big postseason stages.
“He never really shows a lot of emotion,” Hasseman said. “He’s had a good year. He won 40 matches. The best kids in our area, he beat. In our area, heavyweights are pretty good. He’s not the biggest kid, so he’s got to move and score, and there’s some advantages to that.
“It’s going to be a tough battle all the way through (state).”