Ty Stringer could be mistaken for an older, more experienced high school wrestler, but he said he’s just getting started.
The sophomore Trevian, who wrestlers at 220 pounds, is coming off a freshman season in which he finished third in a Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association sectional in an abbreviated spring season and competed at the IWCOA’s unofficial state meet.
“I’m still trying to find out who I am,” Stringer said. “I want to be a good, strong wrestler, maybe wrestle in college, who knows? Get better.”
Even in spending a long time in the sport — Stringer wrestled for North Shore Edge youth wrestling and in junior high — he’s still seeking his identity on the mat.
After defeating Glenbrook South 78-6 on Wednesday, Jan. 5, Stringer and the Trevians — who paused competition for 10 days in December for COVID-19 precautions — now possess a dual record of 11-1 and return from a holiday break during which they traveled to the Mid-States Wrestling Classic in Wisconsin.
Stringer, like some other Trevians, missed that meet while spending time with family away from the North Shore.
“It’s great to have a returning state qualifier and returning All-Conference, so we’re looking for him to keep improving,” New Trier coach Marc Tadelman said of Stringer.
Jack Cummings (195 pounds) — who is 20-2 on the season and one of the state’s best in his weight class — took first place at the Mid-State Wrestling Classic, Wilson Wright (120) took second and Matthew Boyer (152) fifth.
New Trier’s lone loss in dual competition this season remains against Glenbrook South, 48-30, on Dec. 3 in Glenview.
“(We’re) trying to find where our team is at, see if we can win conference or not, try to tie it up and see who people are on the team,” Stringer said. “We’re ready for any obstacles.”
If Stringer has his way, he’ll be a big part of making New Trier’s lineup even more formidable.
“I’m still making my way and trying to be better as a teammate and as a group,” he said.
Grabbing wins in contested matchups for the Trevians Wednesday against the Spartans were Stringer (48 seconds at 220 pounds), Riley Corneliuson (fall in 2:50 at 285) and Tyler Jackson (fall in 2:08 at 182).
Glenbrook North’s Patrick Herbst won GBN’s lone victory by fall in 1:13.
The matchup between Tadelman and Glenbrook North coach John Gilchrist had a fun wrinkle. Gilchrist, formerly the Kinetic Wellness department chair at New Trier, conducted Tadelman’s hiring at New Trier into his Kinetic Wellness instructor position.
“It’s nice to get back into it,” New Trier coach Marc Tadelman said. “I thought our guys wrestled hard. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t all get matches. Both programs are struggling through some stuff so there wasn’t a lot of matches tonight, which I don’t like to see. We’re trying to prepare for the end of the year, so we like to get matches. GBN is doing a good job of trying to rebuild their program.
Gilchrist said the Spartans are trying to change some things up in terms of safety, and that the program will take anything it can get in terms of competition as the group of wrestlers, somewhere in the mid-30s Gilchrist said, tries to push forward.
“The way things are going, it’s great. Anything we can get,” Gilchrist said. “It’s day to day, week to week, so any matches we can have is great. Getting guys back, we had a lot of people missing from break, so just seeing the room, more kids getting chances to wrestle, that’s the best thing.”
Tadelman was looking forward to a stretch of duals to see where his team is at, with duals against Taft Thursday, Jan. 6, Niles West Friday, Jan. 7, and possibly four duals Saturday, Jan. 8, at Waubonsie Valley.
After the Trevians didn’t perform as well as he’d hoped in tournament competition, he has been pleased with the direction of the team in dual competition.
“As a team we’re doing better in the duals and I hope we get our full squad back so we can bring it,” Tadelman said.