Physically, Franklin senior Quinn York combines more qualities than the average heavyweight.

He has quintessential size, rare strength and out-of-this world athleticism.

But of all his tools, he has a mental quality that could pay even bigger dividends at the IHSAA State Wrestling Finals: he doesn’t rattle easily.

For that reason alone, York — who is making his second straight state meet appearance — expects to contend for the heavyweight championship.

His bid begins in tonight’s first round at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

“The experience of being there last year will help me not be as nervous the second time,” said York, one of six local wrestlers vying for state titles. “I don’t really focus what’s (happening) off the mat.

“I just focus on my opponent.”

To date, that approach has served him well.

Ranked fourth in the state at 285, York brings a 41-2 record into tonight’s first-round match against Perry Meridian senior Chris Ridle (29-9). The winner advances to Saturday’s quarterfinals. The loser is done for the season.

Coming off a runner-up finish at the Evansville Reitz Semistate, York has no plans to call it a season. He placed sixth last season and fully expects to challenge for the title this time.

Grizzly Cubs coach Bob Hasseman expects the same thing, especially in light of York’s state meet experience.

“The good thing is, he has been there before, so it won’t be something new,” Hasseman said. “He’ll handle that part real well. I thought he did last year, really.

“He’s wrestling pretty well. He’s got to be confident.”

Arguably the state’s strongest heavyweight (he bench presses 335 pounds and squats 570), York is also one its most athletic. Maybe the most athletic.

Despite weighing about 270 pounds (up about 30 pounds from last season), York can walk on his hands, perform headsprings and can — with his quickness and agility — execute wrestling moves traditionally seen in lighter weight classes. And with his strength, he can pick up heavyweights and put them on the mat when finesse isn’t enough.

“He’s just strong,” Hasseman said. “The difference this year is, he is a heavyweight. He’s 270, so he matches up with the big guys now. And he’s a wrestler. He’ll shoot on you. A lot of heavyweights don’t do that, but he’ll attack your legs.

“He can run right through guys. That’s just a matter of his athletic ability. For a heavyweight, that’s a big deal.”

To win the state championship, or even reach the title match, York will need every edge he can employ.

Although he has a favorable first round draw, York is in the same bracket with the defending state champion, unbeaten senior Shawn Streck (41-0) of Merrillville. Should the two make it through the quarterfinals, they would meet in the semifinal.

But at this stage of the state tournament, how you wrestle is far more important than who you wrestle.

“The big thing with (York) is, one match at a time. Don’t look ahead,” Hasseman said. “Don’t worry about Streck until you get to him, because you might not get to him. The first match is a big deal. You’ve got to win the first one to place.

“It’s the state meet. If you’re the best guy, you’ve got to beat those guys.”

York agrees. He plans to approach each match the same, regardless of the round, regardless of the opponent.

“I’ll just keep pushing myself, keep my pace up and make it my match, not his,” York said. “I feel pretty good.”

The York File

Name: Quinn York

High School: Franklin Community

Year: Senior

Sport: Wrestling

Weight class: Heavyweight (285)


2016 highlights: Won Johnson County, Mid-State Conference, sectional and regional championships; was runner-up at semistate

2015 highlights: Won sectional championship and was a regional, semistate and state meet.

State Meet experience: Placed sixth in 2015 at heavyweight.

Rick Morwick is sports editor of the Daily Journal. He can be reached at rmorwick@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2715.