P.O. Male Athlete of the Week: Laken Rouzer
Waynesboro wrestling coach Dan Craig said the one thing that stands out about Indians' freshman 113-pounder Laken Rouzer is that, "He is really aggressive in all positions. He never eases up."
That aggressiveness may have cost Rouzer a win earlier this season in a loss to David Wells of Milton Hershey. But he learned from it.
On Saturday, Rouzer was 5-0 during the Waynesboro Duals Tournament, which included a 3-1 victory over Wells. Rouzer is the Public Opinion Male Athlete of the Week.
"The first time I wrestled (Wells), it was my fault I lost," Rouzer said. "I did a stupid thing. I picked him up and then I slammed him and his head hit the mat. I was supposed to get the takedown, but instead he got a point, and that's why I ended up losing."
He has learned from his mistake, and that's another good sign for Craig.
"Laken had the basics already because of his dad (Indian assistant coach Mike Rouzer), but he's really bought into what we're teaching," Craig said. "He's learned a lot of moves since we started."
Rouzer said his dad got him into wrestling when he was 5, and he has worked his way up through the Waynesboro youth program, although Craig said Mike Rouzer never pushed his son at an early age.
"I know I've gotten better because the coaches and my teammates have helped me," Laken Rouzer said. "My dad's been there to help me along the way, and I wouldn't be where I am today without him and my teammates, like Elliott Swink (a senior workout partner)."
Craig said, "Laken works hard and he's made big strides for a freshman. I think he's got a shot at making it pretty far in the postseason."
Rouzer said his goals are to get 25 wins so he's at least a quarter of the way toward achieving 100 wins in his career. He's off to good start with that - he's already 21-5. He said he wants to get through sectionals and reach the District 3 tournament, "and then whatever happens, happens.
"I like to have that feeling that you can go out there and show everyone that you know what you're doing. You can show your team and your coaches that they've helped you accomplish something."
Laken Rouzer, Waynesboro
Weight: 113 pounds
Interests: He also plays football ("But it's just to keep in shape for wrestling.")
Favorite wrestler: Teammate Elliott Swink
Favorite team: USA Wrestling and Olympic team.
Statistics: At last Saturday's Waynesboro Duals, Rouzer posted a 5-0 record, including 3 pins and a major decision ... For the week he was 6-0, and his record is now 21-5 ... He has won 17 of his last 18 bouts.