Something was different.
“To see him grow up and come out and compete with one ankle and hold himself; it’s how you win and lose,” Aaron said. “He had to have some dignity. It’s really tough to come back (after a loss) and wrestle tough, let alone when you’re injured. That’s a tough thing to ask him to do.”
Down 2-5 in the final period of his first wrestleback match, Levi overcame that deficit, fighting through his emotions on the mat to win 8-6 in the last 30 seconds.
“The cool thing was I had a vision of what the right way to win a state title is,” Aaron said. “He kind of bucked that for a while. Then, this year, he decided he would be the hardest worker, start dominating. He really started separating himself and doing all the right things. It might not have been a state title, it might not have been under the lights, but golly he figured it out. That’s what counts.”
Levi said he understands where his dad was coming from but admits it took him awhile.
“At the beginning, it was kind of tough because I was naive and thought I knew it all, but toward the end I started soaking up what he had to say,” Levi said. “He really pushed me and I really think he’s mainly the one who helped me peak at my goal and peak at the right time this year. It’s just been amazing having him by my side the whole time. Not too many people get that opportunity.”
After that win, Levi went out and took fifth with a convincing 7-0 decision and wrapped up his season and career as a Giant.
“It’s been surreal,” Levi said. “It comes and goes so fast but while you’re here there’s nothing better. There’s nothing like wrestling down here. It’s amazing. Now that it’s over, it’s finally starting to set in that I had a great run.”