Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
FRANKFORT — Dalton Metzger throws up before every match he wrestles … no, he really does.
The captain of Adena’s wrestling team has a certain ritual, one that includes what you just read, before he competes in every match.
Whatever works, right? And it’s certainly working.
Metzger, a junior, has a shot at becoming the first Warrior to ever tally 100 wins on the mat. He may have to win out to do it, but he’s facing that task head on with the utmost confidence.
And if you know what Dalton Metzger’s mentality is like, you know not to bet against him. That’s just bad money management.
We had the chance to catch up with Metzger and to ask him more about his pre-match ritual, Adena coach Dalton Moss’ impact on the program, his family’s support of his wrestling endeavors, and much more.
Question: Adena’s wrestling program got its start, not too long ago, in 2012. How cool has it been to see it progress and develop into a competitive program?
Metzger: I think it’s come a long way since the start. At the beginning, we were never even looked at as ever being competitive within any team tournaments. But this past year, when we won our first trophy at Huntington, that was one of the most memorable things that I think has happened so far in this incredible journey of ups and downs as a team.
Q: Personally, how’s this season going for you and what do you expect to accomplish?
DM: For me personally, I expect to get my 100th career win this year as a junior and the first in our program to do so. If everything goes according to plan and I win out every tournament up to our home meet, my second match of the home meet will be my 100th, which would be such a great moment.
Q: Some wrestlers have a ritual before every match. Do you? And if so, what is it?
DM: I get to something with one of the greatest men to ever walk this earth. My grandpa Keith, he was a coach before I was born and once he found out I was going to wrestle, he continued to coach … not only for his team but for me, too. During my years as a wrestler, I can count on one hand how many tournaments he hasn’t been to for me. I always have my grandpa sitting in the corner with coach [Dalton] Moss. I won’t let anyone else sit there, not in a million years. Before every match, my grandpa comes and stands besides me to help warm me up and give me pointers on what the opponent ikes to do and where they’re the most weak at. As soon as my name gets called, I always turn to my grandpa and bow my head and when I do that, he gives me my headgear a nice, hard slap and tells me to go out and do what I do. Then I pull up my blue and white socks as high as they go, every single time, and go out and do what I do best. And after every win, looking over and seeing the smile on his face gives me some of the most joy I’ve ever felt.
Q: Wrestling is a sport that promotes and embodies a certain type of ‘brotherhood.’ Can you talk about that and how much your ‘brotherhood’ means to you?
DM: Wrestling has taught me a lot throughout the years. It makes me feel like a part of one giant family. For the ones who came before me and the ones who are with me now, we are family. We pick each other up, push each other to our limits. For me being the captain of the team, I feel like the older brother of every single person on that team. I always want them to strive to be the greatest they can be.
Q: Coach Dalton Moss has been huge for the program as a whole. What’s he done for you and what’s the best thing about wrestling for him?
DM: Coach Dalton has felt like a second father to me. He pushes me everyday to do my best and never forgets my role as being a leader on the team. He picks me up when I’m down about cutting my weight and always keeps me focused on the task ahead. But I’d have to say the best thing about wrestling is the belt we get for having the best record at a tournament.
Q: Your family has always been so supportive of you. What’s their support mean to you and how much motivation does it give you to wrestle that much harder?
DM: Their support means the world to me. They’re at almost every tournament they can be at. It pushes me an when I feel like giving up, I remember back to when I was a little kid. In peewee, first starting out, my mom once told me that when she first heard I wanted to do it, she thought, ‘Oh my goodness, this is going to go great.’ But she said that no matter what, her and dad would be there to support me through it all and I think that’s what gives me motivation to keep going.
Cover photo credit: Karla DePugh/KDePughPhotography