SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) –
What builds motivation in an athlete if their ability to conquer adversity and build off past failures. Coming off a top-five finish in Western Mass last season, Sabis’ Kolby Smith used his fifth place finish last season to lead the way to a Western Mass crown in 2014.
“I wanted this since I started wrestling when I was like, ‘Oh wow, I really love this sports,’” Smith said, “I knew I had to win it for myself. That was the key thing for me to win.
The 170 pound sophomore is still trying to comprehend the significance of the win.
“When I won, I was like, ‘This really means I’m the first sophomore, the youngest kid in my school to win Western Mass.’ I’m still shocked,” Smith said.
Smith’s growth as an athlete has extended to friends and teammates to the point where he is helping in creating more winners.
“Kolby got me into wrestling this year, actually. So this was my first year,” said teammate Gevon Samuels who advanced to the state championship wrestling at 132 lbs.
“I look at him as a captain, that’s my brother. I knew him since kindergarten and now in wrestling, I look at him as a captain.”
“He’s always been by my side all the time,” Smith said, “He’s been a motivation too, as well as my friends and family. They were always there for me and nobody has ever doubted me.”
Heading into the state championships this weekend, Smith uses the motivation that fueled him as a freshman to a sophomore to get him even further.
“I couldn’t let people keep telling me, ‘Oh, it’s ok. You’re a freshman. You’ll get them next time,’” Smith said, “That’s not an excuse. It’s never been an excuse for me. I always tell people that just because I’m a freshman doesn’t make me any less of an athlete.”
When you are on the roll Smith has been riding this season, it is hard to believe that his self-confidence will fail.