Hello, my name is: Preston Spray

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wisconsin (WSAW) – Wisconsin Rapids wrestler Preston Spray is the Division 1 state champion at 113 pounds. The state champion’s journey to Madison glory began with photos on his iPhone.

When Spray, who qualified for the state every year of his high school career, walked out of the state after his freshman year without placing, he was disappointed in himself.

“I hate losing more than I like winning. So with that. I’d rather win and do whatever I absolutely have to do,” he added.

While nothing less than winning was acceptable for the lightweights, it was hard not to step onto the podium.

“Feeling that pain was probably the worst. Because I didn’t even place,” Spray said.

That’s why, entering his senior year, Spray had his junior year-end in mind.

“I took pictures and videos of how I felt after that game. After that tournament. And I wrote down exactly how I felt at that time, in those pictures and videos,” Spray said. .

Preston Spray keeps his head down after not placing at state wrestling in 2021(WSAW)

Shortly after, he raised his head. He began countless hours of training during the offseason with his brother, Patrick, at Askren Wrestling Academy in Madison.

“I went there right after school, I went there and I came back late at night. I go back to school and the next day I will start again,” Spray said.

Armed with the anger of losing, he was more determined than ever to defeat any opponent he saw.

“There is no secret about what happened this year. A switch flipped in his mind and he was just ready to work like never before,” said his brother, Patrick.

By the time the state tournament rolled around this season, Spray was ready to pass shots and replace them with a medal.

“I wasn’t going to let anyone take it from me. I knew how hard I worked.

With a backflip, he was a champ. But when he stepped into the stands after receiving his medal, Spray found himself staring at his pictures.

“I went back and sat in the stands and watched these and I was just, ‘It paid off,'” Spray said.

From holding your head down to standing on top of the podium. Spray can now call himself a state champion.

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