GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - At the 2020 State Wrestling Championships, Junior Blake Cushing won the Class A-126 state title. It was the first state title an Islander has won since 2016.
"He's cool calm and collected. There is a lot of emotions in wrestling just in general," Grand Island Wrestling Coach Joey Morrison said. "Then you throw the state tournament in there, season's are ending, career's are ending, titles are won and lost, tears are shed. Just all the highs and lows are magnified at state wrestling."
Highs and lows, something Blake Cushing is all too familiar with. A year ago, he was bounced in the semifinals and finished third. Fast forward to this year, he replaced that bronze medal for a gold one.
"It sucked losing in the semifinals, so this year I really wanted to redeem myself with that." Cushing said. "So winning in the semifinals helped me redeem myself and then winning it obviously did too."
Cushing dominated the field, earning a total of 24 of a possible 30 points for his team. His approach across the three day tournament, pretty simple
"It was just to wrestle, not take anyone too lightly but just have confidence and just wrestle," Cushing said.
Afterward, he celebrated with Coach Morrison. Someone, who has been with him from the start..
"I've worked with Blake for six years now. I worked with him at youth wrestling as well as middle school as well as high school," Morrison said. "He's just been a joy to coach. His parents are phenomenal, they take him all over the country. That is usually what happens on your way to being a state champion. So, it takes a lot of people to help you win a state title and Blake's got that."
Cushing will look to repeat next year in his senior season at Grand Island. As for right now, he's happy to add another plaque in the islanders wrestling room. Something that hasn't been done in four years.