This week's Gordy's Athlete of the Week honor goes to a 4.0 student who just this past weekend took home another state title in wrestling. Cameron's Kal Gerber had to overcome a loss in the sectional final to find his way back to the gold medal podium.
Kal Gerber's sophomore wrestling season was one to remember, undefeated and state champion at 113 lbs. As a junior at 120 lbs Kal was defeated twice. Sometimes you learn more from your losses than your victories.
"I think about half way through the season I became uncomfortable with winning a close match. I felt like I needed to pin or beat everyone by quite a bit. But I think both those matches refocused me and made me feel comfortable with winning a close match," says Kal.
After pinning his way through much of the state tournament last year, Kal buckled down to defeat his opponents no matter how close the score.
"Pretty simple, why he's been successful, he just has a great work ethic," says head coach Dave Gerber.
"He told me before he went out to the finals Saturday night, he said "you know I've done everything I could to be ready for this match." And you know that's a confident feeling when you know you've run every sprint you could, you've lifted weights extra, you've put extra time in the practice room, you go into it. It's a nice feeling," coach Gerber says.
The other factor in Kal's success, his practice partners.
"You know at Victory and the Weigh In Club I had some awesome partners and coaches that have helped me out a ton. And in our wrestling room nobody complains about having to work hard and that makes it easy for me to push myself," says Kal
I think he really influences the attitude that you can never be good enough and that you should always want more. And there is always improvement to be made," says teammate Lucas Morgan.
On top of the work ethic, drive, and teammates, Kal shares a special bond with his coach who wrestled for Team USA in Europe in the summer of 1987.
"He's not just my coach, he's my dad also. It's nice to be able to talk about my wrestling matches at home and everywhere else too," says Kal. "I would say that moment after the state titles, when I step off the mat and give him a hug is probably the best moment."
Championships aside, Coach Gerber hopes to send Kal one message.
"Believing in yourself and realizing if you outwork people you can beat them. And Kal goes into every match with the attitude that he can win and that's probably what I've tried to instill in him the most."