Why he was selected: A 126-pound senior, Shump won each of his three matches at this weekend’s Upstate Eight Conference tournament to improve to 34-0 this season.
Batavia senior 126-pound wrestler Joel Shump kept his season-opening unbeaten streak alive over the weekend, notching three falls in as many matches to win an Upstate Eight Conference title. The St. Charles Bank & Trust-Kane County Chronicle Athlete of the Week stands at 34-0 entering Friday’s home dual against Kaneland, the team’s final action before the state series begins next month. Chronicle sports reporter Kevin Druley caught up with Shump at the tournament. The following is an edited transcript:
What’s your approach and mindset at tournaments like these after you’ve wrestled your final match?
Just kind of relax. Hang out with the guys. Cheer on the guys that are still wrestling.
Mickey Watson made finals at 195 [pounds] after extended time away with illness and injury. What did you see out of him in the room during the week?
Everyone was kind of worried all week since he’s been out and everything that he would maybe struggle. He’s looked better than he has all season.
How about Jon Wagner [at 160], your other conference champion?
Jon’s one of those kids who improves every week, so he can only get better from here.
Other than the Kaneland dual [Friday], it’s all practices from conference to regionals, right?
That’s right. We’re looking to make sure every single kid gets through to sectionals. That’s our goal right now, and that’s what we’re training for.