ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Undefeated Eric Peissig follows in brothers footsteps

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"Nothing's like your family. Nothing's like your brother. Being ten years older than him I've kind of watched him from being a baby to all the way through," says Menomonie wrestling coach and Eric Peissig's older brother, Grant Peissig. "He's definitely earned it. They don't hand out state championships, you gotta go get them."

The Peissig brothers have made a name for themselves in the Menomonie wrestling room. Grant was a two time state champ, Evan was a four time state placer, including two state finals. So the youngest, Eric, he had a little pressure on his back

"I've seen both sides of the spectrum you know, how it feels like when you win and how it feels like when you lose," says Eric Peissig. "No matter what happens, win or lose my family's still going to love me, my family still going to think the same of me. You know my life is gonna move on, and that really made me relax and wrestle to my full ability."

Eric's undefeated season was capped off by winning the state title at 195lbs. He also beat the Mustangs team records of most career takedowns and most career wins, previously held by his brothers. And yet none of this was really expected of him.

"Just seeing him as a chubby little 5th grader and going to these tournaments. He's just grown up into just such a mature, good role model for his school and community," says middle brother, Evan Peissig.

The sibling rivalry is hardly evident, instead there is an enormous sense of family pride established by their parents and instrumental to their success.

"I think the difference between the kids that are champions and those are not, is that they just believe they are going to do it, and that they have the ability to do it," says their father Jeff Peissig. "And I think we always tried to encourage that thought."

In addition to maintaining a 4.0 GPA, Eric led the Mustangs to their first BRC title since 1965, undoubtedly leaving behind his trademark work ethic to his younger teammates.

"He's a product of hard work and he's a great example for the other kids in our program and really anybody else in this sport that if you stick with it and you don't get down on yourself, and you just keep believing in what you're doing and do all the little things right, that you can get to the top," says Grant.

"Four years goes really fast and you just need to take it slow, take it one year at a time. You just need to be the best wrestler you can be and people are going to be proud of you for that," says Eric.

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