Five minutes with silver medalist wrestler Wyatt Hepner


Photo courtesy of Wyatt Hepner

The referee lifts Wyatt Hepner’s ’25 arm in victory after defeating his opponent in an intense match.

Omar Siddiqui '25, Web Editor

The second-best wrestler in the state for the division one, 126 pound weight class is now roaming South’s halls after Wyatt Hepner ’25 won silver in the state wrestling meet on Feb. 18.

After winning four straight matches to get to the state meet, and three more during the state meet, Hepner barely got edged out by the representative from Davidson High School in the final match. Despite the loss, Hepner understands that there is a lot to be proud of and a lot to work towards.

“Being among the best wrestlers gives me a sense of accomplishment,” Hepner said. “But, it also lets me know that I can be better because I know there are still some wrestlers better than me.”

Being a top wrestler doesn’t come without an absurd amount of commitment and training. Before each meet, Hepner has to dedicate his mind and body to the wrestling grind.

“The preparation before a meet requires a lot of mental training and endless hours of hard work during practice,” Hepner said. “Also, I wouldn’t be here without the help of my teammates.”

Wrestling, according to Hepner, is known to be one of the most stressful and both technically and physically difficult sports in the world. Hepner’s mental state during a match is one of sheer focus and determination.

“My mindset in a match is to keep moving and keep pressuring,” Hepner said. “I want to go with the flow of wrestling.”

In order to become such a dominant athlete in his sport, Hepner said he has gone through some of the most rigorous exercises and drills, including weight cutting, which Hepner says is extremely difficult. Through all of this, Hepner has remained strong and continues to have the same love he had for his sport that he has had from the beginning. For other athletes, he gives the advice to keep on practicing and working hard.

“If you really love your sport, you will enjoy putting in the extra effort to be the best at it.” Hepner said. “That’s the mindset I have every day, and it has so far given me success.”