Gentzler, a junior, is already one of the most decorated wrestlers in Andover Central history. He's won Class 5A state titles the last two seasons at 103 pounds and helped lead the Jaguars to the 5A team title last season. Gentzler is 13-0 this season after moving up to 112 pounds and 86-1 in his career. The Jaguars return to action Jan. 7 against Arkansas City in a battle of 5A contenders.
Wrestling can be such an individual sport, but you were able to experience team success as well with last year's title. Can you differentiate between the two or say which one means more to you?
Without a doubt, the team title is one of the best feelings I've ever had in wrestling. Wrestling does seem like it's an individual sport and I understand that, but when you're all together and every action is for the good of the team and you're all moving toward the same goal... that's something you take with you forever.
You've moved up a weight class this season _ did that weight come naturally or did you have to work to put it on?
It came to me pretty naturally, and I probably could have moved up a weight last year but we had another really good wrestler at 112 so it was better for the team for me to stay at 103. In the summer I'm not as rigid about checking my weight and making sure I'm where I need to be, but once the season hits you're on a scale every day and I'm making sure I'm eating healthy and getting the right stuff in my body.
Why was wrestling the sport you chose to invest so much in? How did you get into it?
My dad put me in wrestling when I was really, really young. I think I was only 4 years old when I went to my first tournament wrestling against older kids, and it's actually kind of funny now, but I lost and I came home and I quit for a couple of weeks. I know I was really young but I remember my dad coming to me and telling that sports were tough, that wrestling was tough, but it would be worth it. And then I just practiced and practiced and practiced until I finally started winning tournaments and that was it... I was hooked.
What about your plans for the future? Do you want to wrestle in college?
Wrestling in college is always something I've dreamed about. I grew up watching the NCAA Tournament on television and Iowa has always been my favorite team because of the mental edge they always seemed to have. The big schools I've been in contact with, so far, are Stanford, Virginia Tech and Lehigh. Academics are a big part of my life, too, so that's going to also play a big part in wherever I end up at.