Every time Center Grove junior Gleason Mappes walks into his school’s wrestling room, he just needs one glance up at the wall for motivation.
When he looks up there, he sees a poster of his older brother Sean, who won an individual state championship at 170 pounds as a senior in 2012.
Gleason Mappes is determined to join him — and after placing fourth in the 160-pound weight class for a second straight year, he can taste it.
For now, he’s still the Daily Journal’s 2016-17 Wrestler of the Year.
Story continues below gallery
Despite the fact that he finished in the same place as he did a year ago, Gleason — the youngest of three wrestling Mappes brothers — felt a lot better about his junior season, which he finished with a 41-3 overall record despite losing his final two matches.
“Even though I made it to the same round and I got the same place,” he said, “it felt a lot closer than it was the year before because I truly felt like I was good enough to win this year. It just didn’t play out the way I wanted it to.”
Prior to the state meet, it did. As a freshman and sophomore, Gleason kept running into tough opposition early in the postseason, but he was able to break through this year and win sectional, regional and semistate titles for the first time.
“I had a lot of momentum going to state,” Mappes said. “I got a lot better this year and definitely noticed differences from last year, and I think after I fix a couple of things, I think I’ll be under the lights and getting what I want next year.”
He’ll get help making those fixes from his two older siblings — Shelby, who graduated from Center Grove in 2009 as the school’s all-time wins leader before competing at the University of Indianapolis, and Sean, who is now in his final season at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Gleason calls his brothers the best role models he could possibly have, and he’s confident that his senior season can mirror Sean’s perfect 46-0 campaign from 2012 if he continues to work hard.
“I think just developing an unstoppable offense and getting to the point where it’s almost impossible to score on me,” Gleason said, “just continuing to improve upon the things that me and my coaches have seen that I need to work on, then I won’t be able to be touched.”
Gleason Mappes by the numbers:
Johnson County champion
Mooresville Sectional champion
Mooresville Regional champion
Evansville Semistate champion
The 2016-17 All-Johnson County Team for wrestling:
Logan Coyle, Center Grove senior: Posted a 36-5 record and qualified for the state meet at 145 pounds. … Won sectional title at 145 and county title at 152. … runner-up at regional and semistate.
Ryan Hammond, Whiteland senior: Finished an injury-shortened regular season unbeaten and won sectional crown at 195 pounds. … Finished 23-2 after withdrawing from the semistate ticket round due to an injury. … Regional runner-up.
Jonah Hays, Center Grove junior: Qualified for the state meet at 170 pounds, finishing the season with a 29-12 record. … Sectional and regional runner-up at Mooresville. … Fourth at Evansville Semistate.
Gleason Mappes, Center Grove junior: Placed fourth the state at 160 pounds for second straight year. … Won county, sectional, regional and semistate titles. … Finished season with a 41-3 record.
Jake Moore, Franklin senior: Finished with a 41-5 mark and a sixth-place state finish at 182 pounds. … Sectional champion and runner-up at regional and semistate. … Won county title at 195 pounds.
Alex Mosconi, Indian Creek sophomore: Seventh in state at 120 pounds, finishing season with a 42-4 record. … Sectional champion at 120 and runner-up at regional and semistate. … County champion at 126 pounds.
Alex Petro, Center Grove sophomore: Claimed 113-pound title at Mooresville Sectional. … Qualified for state meet and finished with a 24-7 record. … Placed second at regional and third at semistate.
Peyton Pruett, Center Grove sophomore: Sectional champion and regional runner-up at 126 pounds. … Posted a 27-8 overall record. … Finished one win shy of state berth, losing 2-1 in semistate ticket round.
Owen Sego, Indian Creek freshman: County champion at 113 pounds and sectional winner at 106. … Placed third in regional at 106 before losing in ticket round at semistate. … Finished with 30-3 record.
Burk VanHorn, Franklin senior: Ranked No. 1 in the state for much of the year at 170 pounds. … Won county and regional titles at 170 and was second at semistate, qualifying for state meet. … All three of his losses came in overtime.
Nick Willham, Greenwood sophomore: Won the Mooresville Sectional championship at 152 pounds and placed fourth in regional, earning semistate berth. … Finished with 37-12 record.
Aaron Adkins, Whiteland; Manny Cheam, Franklin; Joe Clevenger, Indian Creek; Garrett Curtis, Whiteland; Grant Goforth, Indian Creek; Cory Heinrichs, Center Grove; Kole Hughes, Whiteland; Kobe King, Whiteland; Jacob Lamping, Franklin; A.J. Montgomery, Greenwood; Tony Mosconi, Indian Creek; Ethan Nash, Franklin; Gabe Pitzulo, Indian Creek; Keeghan Overton, Greenwood; Trevor Reese, Franklin; Jacob Schrader, Greenwood; Tyler Weltich, Indian Creek