Spencer Lee is a two-time Junior World champion wrestler and a Cadet champion who is considered one of the top pound-for-pound high school wrestlers in the nation. Lee, from Franklin Regional (Murrysville, Pa.) is a two-time American Family Insurance ALL-USA selection who is attempting to join an elite club of four-time undefeated state champions. As he readies for the championship portion of the season, Lee has agreed to give USA TODAY High School Sports access into his world.
Sections are next weekend, then regionals and then states, which are late in Pennsylvania compared to others states. Even though the top five guys advance from sections and the top four from regionals, it’s always one match at a time and this state is tough at each step along the way, so I want to wrestle my very best.
States is the big picture for me. I’m just training hard and getting ready to give myself a chance to win that fourth state title. I’m expecting nothing less from myself than a fourth state title. I want to wrestle hard, score points, have fun and finish my high school career wrestling my very best and achieving the goals I set for myself when I was very young.
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I know what the drill is when it comes to the state championships because I’ve been in a state finals match in each of the last nine years from the Pennsylvania junior wrestling state tournament at 9 years old to junior high to high school, it’s hard to believe that this will be my last run at a State Championship.
It should be fun and a little bit different than other years because a bunch of guys are coming into my weight class at 126. Austin DeSanto, the No. 1 guy in the state and No. 7 in the country at 132, is coming down to my weight class. We wrestled in last year’s state final. I love wrestling good guys and there are going to be plenty in my brackets the next few weeks.
We had Senior Night recently and it was cool, but I didn’t get to wrestle, because they forfeited to me. It kinda hits you, like, wow, I’m going to be in college as soon as school is over. This is the last time anyone will be able to watch me at my school. It was sad that I didn’t get to wrestle on the last night in my gym, but you can only do what you can do. A lot of the other guys are going to college in state and I’m going to Iowa. It’s going to be tough when we all graduate and won’t be around each other, but it will all be worth it in the end.
Right now, I’m focused on what I need to get done, but I’m always watching Iowa. I know I’ll be there next year and that’s exciting. It’s such a great program with coaches that really care about you both as a student and an athlete, so I’m looking forward to the next step in my life. It’s cool to see how the team is progressing as the season is going along. We’re third in the country right now, but want to end up first, because that’s the goal every year at Iowa.
I’m trying to balance my schoolwork along with my training and wrestling. Things will get easier when I get more time after states, but I want to finish high school strong academically too.