GENOA – As part of trying to raise the bar for the Genoa-Kingston wrestling program, coach Chad Wilmarth re-organized the team's record board – instead of 20 wins immortalizing a wrestler, 30 was the new requirement.
Sean Logan rose to the challenge.
Heading into the Class 1A Aurora Central Catholic Regional, Logan boasts a 30-3 record at 182 pounds as he looks to become the Cogs first state qualifier in seven years.
"I never would have though I'd get on the board, but it just happened," Logan said. "So now I'm looking forward to regionals, sectionals to see what happens."
Wilmarth said the new record board has spots just for 30-win wrestlers and state qualifiers. Logan already has one of the marks down.
It's something Wilmarth said Logan has been gunning for all year.
"That's one of the things he said, 'I'd like to get 30 wins this season,'" Wilmarth said. "We've raised our standard, and he's really dedicated to doing that."
Now comes part two of his quest – trying to make state. In 2011, Clay Chaberski reached the season finale after a 36-3 regular season. Chaberski is also the Cogs' only medalist in program history according to IHSA records, taking second in 2010.
Since the program started in 2006, only two wrestlers have qualified for state, the other being Ronnie Sribniak in 2008 and 2010.
Logan finished 17-13 at 182 last year but came into this campaign confident, Wilmarth said.
He credited being a captain for helping to shape his attitude this year.
"This year, I don't know if I had a different attitude or perspective to it, but being a captain had a lot to do with it," Logan said. "I started the year 3-0, and I just wanted to be a role model to the younger kids. And I feel dumb saying that cause I'm a young guy too, but I just wanted them to look up to me and remember, always be in their heads."
He said he remembers when he was a freshman, seeing how Nick Cotham, a junior at the time, inspired the team and has been trying to emulate that. He said he was surprised when he found out Cotham, the team's heavyweight, was only a junior.
"When I was a freshman, I though Nick Cotham was a senior," Logan said. "He's just this big guy. Then next year, he came back. And I was like, oh, he's my captain again. He was a very nice guy and very successful wrestler so I try to be like him."
Logan said the first time he had an inkling his year would be so successful came at the Plano tournament. Last year, he lost his first two matches. This year he finished second, including a win against an Aurora Christian wrestler who had his number last season.
"I was 5-0 coming in, so it was like OK, I'll see how I do," Logan said. "I had a kid named Julian James, who I'm probably going to have to face Saturday at regionals. ... I think it clicked, that it might be my year, when I beat him 6-4 at Plano."
After regionals in the Class 1A Oregon Sectional followed by the state tournament in Champaign.
Wilmarth said he preaches on match at a time. Logan said he tries to adhere to that, but it's much easier said than done.
"State is always in the back of my head," Logan said. "That would be awesome. But I don't want to think far ahead. Like coach said one match at a time. ... I'll do my best, that's all I can ask of myself."
Saturday's regionals involving area teams
Genoa Kingston at Class 1A Aurora Central Catholic Regional (Oregon Sectional)
Kaneland at Class 2A Sandwich Regional (Sycamore Sectional)
Sycamore at Class 2A Belvidere Regional (Sycamore Sectional)
Dekalb at Class 3A DeKalb Regional (Barrington Sectional)