On Friday, Chris Pingleton will see the fruits of his labor finally payoff.
Pingleton will compete in the first round of the IHSAA individuals' state wrestling championship in the 145-pound class, and up until last week, he was one of the few undefeated wrestlers left in the state, until he suffered his first defeat by the hands of defending state champion Copper Samuels of Floyd Central.
Pingleon said his motivation for the season has been keeping his record flawless and making it to the state meet. Now since those two tasks are done, he said the biggest motivation he's had this week is trying to be the best that he can be.
Pingleton isn't the first in his family to advance. Charlie, who graduated two years ago and is Chris' older brother, also advanced to the state meet. Pingleton said that his brother has really been his inspiration.
"My brother has been my main inspiration, and he is the one who has really pushed me and one of the main reasons I am here where I am right now," Pingleton said.
Pingleton has a current record of 45-1 and career record of more than 100 wins, and he is only a junior at Greencastle High School. He also leads the team in several categories, like most team points scored, most individual wins and most take downs for the season.
Pingleton has been on the varsity squad since his freshman year, but he hasn't always been a wrestler. He used to pull double duty by playing basketball and wrestling but soon learned that wrestling was the sport for him.
"I learned that wrestling was better for me and it has helped me more than basketball would ever have," Pingleton said.
Pingleton's hard work and dedication have not gone unnoticed, by his coach or the public.
"Chris is one of the top five of all-time and he still has another year, but that can be attributed to his family helping, his brother and how much heart he has," GHS Coach Russ Hesler said. "He bounced back form a serious hip dislocation from football this year and you have to have heart to do that."
Pingleton is currently ranked fifth in the state in his weight class according to the Indiana Highs School Wrestling Coaches Association at www.IHSWCA.com.
He has been a team captain this year with two seniors and doesn't slack off during practice, according to Hesler.
It's not that often that a coach gets to coach two brothers and take them both to the state finals, but Hesler has.
"It's pretty cool to take Chris to the finals like I did Charlie, and it feels good to have the support from the family too," Hesler said.
Both Hesler and Pingleton have been practicing hard for the state meet and both feel pretty confident.
"I feel confident, I am just trying to keep my nerves down," Pingleton said.
Hesler said that a lot of the success of the program has been because of the help and support he has from the night custodians, the team managers and his current and former coaches he has had over the years.
Pingleton will be in action this on Friday at Conseco Fieldhouse in the first round of the IHSAA state wrestling finals starting at 6 p.m.