Schroeders reflect on journey togetherFebruary 18, 2021
By COREY STOLZENBACH
HUNTINGBURG — Reid Schroeder and Sam Schroeder both remember wrestling each other when in their younger days — before they wrestled many others and went on to greater things.
Sam is one of the most decorated wrestlers in the history of Southridge as a three-time individual Pocket Athletic Conference and sectional champion, four-time regional qualifier and he capped his career at Bankers Life Fieldhouse as a participant at the 2020 state finals in the 160-pound class — which Reid got to witness.
"It was crazy," Reid (21-4) said. "When we got there, it was packed — a bunch of fans screaming and yelling. It really gave me chills just watching your brother go out there and wrestle in front of thousands of people. So, it was pretty cool."
Reid told himself that he wanted to do the same thing his older brother did, and make it to state this year as a sophomore.
Second-year Raiders coach Kurt Collins felt at the beginning of the wrestling season that Reid was a candidate who could make it to state.
"He's done a lot of work in the offseason," Collins said. "If you had a chance to see him last year from a physical standpoint and compare it to this year — he's probably grown four or five inches, and he's put on 30 pounds of muscle. He's done other work to advance his technique and skill set, and absolutely I thought he was definitely one of the ones that was in contention."
Reid went from wrestling in the 152-pound class as a freshman to the 182 this year, and he's found success in his new weight class as a sectional champion and a state qualifier in 2021.
"I can't tell you how many hours he's been in the weight room, it's ridiculous," Sam said. "When I say that I'm proud of his work ethic and how hard he's worked, I'm extremely proud. Him and his friend (junior Aidan Jochem), I don't know anybody that's in the weight room more than those two."
Sam sees the world in Reid, and is confident his younger brother will be on the podium at state one day. The Bellarmine University wrestler came back home to Dubois County and had a seat next to Collins to coach Reid Feb. 13 at the Jasper semi-state.
Therefore, he got an up close and personal seat to watch his younger brother do exactly what he did the year before. Sam found that he was more nervous and happier for Reid than he was for himself when he qualified for state.
"I believed in him so much, and it's great to know that he believed in me, too, that he wanted me in his corner," he said.
"Twenty seconds left, I look up at Sam, and I start smiling at him, being like, 'Yes sir, yeah, we're going!" Reid said. "And then he just smiled back. So, I was pretty confident in the third period when I was up, 6-3."
Reid told Sam that he was going to make it to state, and he believed he had a chance to get there after winning the sectional championship in the 182 Jan. 30 at Southridge. Sam came in to work with Reid prior to semi-state to help the latter with his conditioning and finishing his shots.
Collins has the distinction of saying that he's taken a wrestler to state in back-to-back years in his first two years at the helm, and that those two wrestlers are brothers. He appreciates the opportunity to go along for the ride, and is "super-proud" of both of their accomplishments.
"To do it two years in a row, to do it with brothers, to do it as a second-year coach, absolutely, it feels great," he said. "But the one thing I would never want to do is I wouldn't want to take full credit for Reid or for Sam because those were a work in progress long before Kurt Collins, and that credit to goes to them, and it goes to all the coaches that they had up and to this point."
Reid is the second Southridge wrestler to make it to state as a sophomore after Tucker Schank did it in 2017. Collins believes being the younger brother of a state qualifier who is wrestling at an NCAA Division I program has its perks.
"Sam's an animal," Collins said. "He's all about the sport. He works at it 24 hours a day, seven days a week and when you have access to that kind of an individual every day, you either get good or you get beat. And I think Reid has chosen to get better, and it shows."
Sam hasn't always been able to see his brother in action this year due to his schedule and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but he'll watch film on his opponents when he gets the chance to, and also watch Reid's matches. He'll come come back and get in the wrestling room with Reid when he can.
He knows what kind of atmosphere his brother will be stepping into, and Sam bowed out that Friday night — not getting the opportunity to wrestle on Saturday. Sam doesn't want the big lights and the atmosphere distracting Reid from his goal of placing at state.
"That kind of overtook me in my match," Sam said. "That's why I want to help him out and use from experience about what I know in that setting."
Reid's first match is scheduled with Perry Meridian senior Aiden Warren (34-2).
"I've been thinking about it real hard this past weekend, and I got good confidence," Reid said. "I'll be ready, I'm focused."
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