Ross’ Trey Grine is shy, like most, when it comes to public speaking.
He’ll be the first to admit he’s deferred to other senior teammates when it comes to being the vocal leader in his team’s wrestling room.
Get Grine on a mat, though, and his opponents only wish he had a reserved demeanor.
The 145-pound Little Giant wrestler, known for his aggressive attack style, became Ross’ all-time wins leader this past Saturday with his 152nd-career victory in the semifinals — overtaking Tylor Trautwein’s mark of 151 wins set back in 2011 — at Clyde’s Dale Carroll Invitational.
“I didn’t know I was that close to it. I thought I was way behind it still,” said Grine when asked what it felt like to become his school’s winningest all-time grappler. “My goal is raise that mark higher and higher.”
But Grine was not truly happy with the accomplishment. He wanted 153 instead.
His 5-1 finals loss to Clyde’s Beau Minnick was his first after 20 wins to start the year.
Grine, 152-18 in his four-year high school career, is currently ranked first in the state in his weight class in Division I, according to InterMat Wrestle.com.
“I’m actually happy he beat me, looking back at it now,” said Grine of Minnick, a fellow senior he’s been friends with their Biddy days. “It’s made me motivate myself even more than before and allowed me not to be all cautious about my record. Now, I can open myself up and just wrestle.
“Plus, I’d rather lose now than lose later when it really counts.”
Others helped in the motivation, too. According to Grine, he received many phone calls and was stopped constantly in the hallways on Monday by fellow students. Everyone had the same question: what happened?
“Even the best wrestlers lose,” Grine said. “I’m not Superman.”
First came the anger, then came humility. The competitor inside Grine hated the loss and what it did to his win-loss column, yet at the same time, the student of the game inside of him was eating it up. Grine isn’t one for scouting opponents, but he loves to scout himself.
“After I let him cool down and let him get the anger out of him, I told him, ‘hey it happened. Now it’s time to take the mistakes you made and learn from them, but let’s get refocused and concentrate on our second part of the season,'” Ross coach Mike Mezinger said. “He was totally on board with that. Losing was probably the best thing that could have happened to him.”
Instead of pouting about it for the rest of the weekend, Grine went back to Clyde on Sunday to try and settle the score with his long-time friend. If they were to wrestle 10 times, Grine might beat Minnick in nine of them.
Actually, he did.
“I’ve beaten him every time we’ve wrestled since we were little kids, so that was his first time beating me,” Grine said. “But he’s no slouch. He’s a great wrestler, and he beat a state champion earlier this year, which proves that.”
As for the Sunday rematch?
“I took it to him and beat him in practice after I finally opened on him,” Grine said. “If I had just done that Saturday it would have been a way better match. But that’s wrestling.
“I guarantee I’m about to lose no more, though. I want to be at the top of that state podium.”
Is that Grine being arrogant? No.
Grine was 48-4 a year ago. His fourth-place effort at state at 145 pounds, snapped an eight-year placement skid for the Little Giants’ program. He was 41-7 as a freshman and 43-6 as a sophomore.
“He lost his go-to state match as a sophomore in overtime to a kid from Perrysburg, and that haunted him all summer long,” Mezinger said. “So that summer he got into the Freestyle/Greco Roman wrestling, and he said, ‘that will not happen again.’ So he worked his butt off all off-season and it didn’t happen again.
“When he wrestled the same kid last year for the go-to state match, he just dominated the kid. And again this year, he worked hard over the summer. Once he puts his mind to something, it’s hard to get him off-course.”
Grine was the Three Rivers Athletic Conference wrestler of the year as a junior, and over the summer, earned MVP honors at the prestigious Disney Duals in Orlando, Fla.
“He’s probably got another 20 matches to go this year if he makes it down to state again,” Mezinger said. “Him breaking our career record this early is no surprise. It just says a lot about the type of wrestler he is. One good thing that has helped him is he’s stayed healthy. He hasn’t been hurt in his four years, and he’s been so consistent in his performances.”
The top 30 career victories list in Ohio starts at 180 wins.
Ross senior Peyton Geary, Grine’s wrestling partner in the practice room, earned his 100th career earlier this season, while Bailey Mezinger reached 100 with his first-place finish at Clyde.
“Me and Peyton (a 160-pounder) still work with each other and keep pushing ourselves to be the best we can be,” Grine said. “We both want to go back to state again. Hopefully we’ll have a few more along for the ride this time.”
Either way, coach Mezinger’s program has come a long way in his 10-year stint.
“All these accomplishments just speak volumes for much this program has grown,” he said. “Not only do we have a great high school program, but our middle school program has yet to lose a tournament they’ve entered.
“It’s a great time to be a Ross wrestler.”