Get to know SPASH wrestler Kolten Pope

Get to know SPASH wrestler Kolten Pope

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Get to know SPASH wrestler Kolten Pope

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Kolten Pope probably never really had a choice. Probably from the time he entered the world crying as a baby, Pope was born to be a wrestler.

It’s what his father Kyler did. The wrestling bloodlines also extended to cousins Gee, Nat and Ty.

So seeing Kolten, who owns a 4.0 grade point average and ranks No. 1 in the junior class at SPASH, as a mainstay at 120 pounds in the Stevens Point Area Senior High lineup is hardly a surprise.

Nor is the success Kolten is experiencing in his junior season with the Panthers. He currently owns a sparkling 23-2 record entering Saturday’s Wisconsin Valley Conference Meet in Wisconsin Rapids.

Oh yeah. Kolten will head into the conference tournament as the top seed in his weight class.

He recently took a few minutes to talk about his extensive background in wrestling, the success he’s enjoyed this season and what his future may hold.

Q:
Why is wrestling such an important part of the Pope family?

A: My dad was a wrestler and qualified for state and my cousins wrestled. He got me involved in the Medford Youth Wrestling Club when we lived in Medford and then I found Dennis Hall and World Gold Wrestling. I think it’s a sport that prepares you for life. In my opinion, it’s the hardest sport. Once you step on the mat, youn don’t have any teammates to count on. If I win or lose, it’s all on me and there is no one else I can blame.

Q: You’ve been part of the varsity since you were a freshman, what has been the key to your success this season?

A: I think a lot of my success has to do with putting in a lot of extra work after practice and in the weight room for extra conditioning and lifting. I’ve always been a hard worker, but (SPASH) coach (Duane) Groshek has pushed me a lot and that is huge if you want to be successful at the high school level.

Who are your role models or heroes?

A: My parents. (Former U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman wrestler) Dennis Hall has been a big role model and (my martial arts instructor) Mr. Brent Catura. They are my role models mostly because they pushed me to be better at whatever I was doing. They wouldn’t let me settle for normal or average and be mentally tough and not accept anything less. It helped me be a good athlete and person.

Q:
In your opinion, what is the definition of a successful season for you?

A: That’s different for every person. It’s not always about the final outcome or getting to go to state. I think it’s about having no regrets and knowing you put in all the hard work you could .

Q: If you could play any sport professionally, what sport would you choose and why?

A: I would get into MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). I’ve done it before (been involved in a mixed martial arts match) and it was fun. I have all the experience with karate and wrestling. I’m a third-degree black belt and a seven-time national martial arts champion. I competed with Team USA against Canada, and I won, so that was fun. It can be pretty intense and brutal, but I’m good at it and I like doing it.

— By Scott A. Williams

Stevens Point Journal Media

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Get to know SPASH wrestler Kolten Pope
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