This week's Auburn High Athlete of the Week is Dylan Pearson, a sophomore who wrestles for the Tigers.
The Auburn Villager: When did you start wrestling?
Dylan Pearson: I came here in in eighth grade, midseason. I moved from Missouri. I started wrestling when I was in first grade. It's been a long time. It's my ninth or tenth year.
AV: How did you get started wrestling all the way back in first grade?
DP: It was just a club, and I just decided to try it. And I liked it. Me and my brother have been wrestling since his preschool year and my first grade year.
AV: What do you like about wrestling? What drew you to it?
DP: I like the physical aspect of it. It's not like fighting, but it's similar to it. It's technique and strength. It keeps you in good shape, and it's just pretty fun overall.
AV: What are the challenges it poses?
DP: Weight is always my challenge as a 152 — that's my weight class. But this year has been better. Somethings you can't eat. You've got to know what you can eat and what you can't. But that's the main challenge. Practice is another challenge. It's usually a full two hours. It's very sweaty and very hot most of the time, so that's a very difficult part of it.
AV: What are you goals this year?
DP: My goals were just to overcome my knee injury I had last year. I blew out my knee and I didn't finish the year. But this year I'm going strong and doing a lot better. That was my main goal. My other was just to place in state in the top four.
AV: Is everything going good toward that goal so far?
DP: It's going pretty good. I've lost once to an opponent in the south region, so I'm ranked two in the south right now.
AV: Did you have any wrestlers you emulated or looked up to growing up?
DP: My coaches in Missouri had two sons —J'den Cox. He's an Olympic bronze medalist for the Olympic team. And Jaydin Eierman, his other son. They're both great people. I've met them; I've wrestled with them, trained with them. They're really good guys.
AV: Do you challenge yourself more having gone up against such good competition?
DP: It definitely challenges me more, but it also humbles me because you just know that there's always going to be people better than you and you need to strive to be the best. But it's also very difficult to compete with them. But it's also drives you.
AV: Do you have a match that sticks out to you?
DP: There has been a match. I lost 2-0 in the third period, so it was a very close match. And I thought could win it fairly easy, but it was a close. That sticks out to me because I know I could have won and there were a few things I could have done differently that would have changed the outcome.
AV: Do you use that as motivation?
DP: Yes. Absolutely. It's definitely something to strive to do better or to change just the way certain things are done on the mat.
AV: Do you play any other sports?
DP: Wrestling's my only sport. I've always tried to do it year-round and that's very hard in the summer.
AV: Do you have any hobbies outside of sports?
DP: I like going the lake and wakeboarding and water sports. That's something to do in the summer.