The motto of the United States Navy SEALs is a simple one: “The only easy day was yesterday.”
That fits Black River standout Sebastian Vidika quite well.
Vidika has done more than a lot of prep wrestlers have ever dreamed of with a pair of state trips under his belt, numerous tournament trophies and last week winning his 100th career match, but he wants more.
Much, much more.
“I have bigger things on my mind,” the 106-pounder said. “I just want to be the best in everything. I don’t care what it is. It could be a game of checkers.”
After placing fourth at the Division III state tournament last winter, two-time All-Gazette pick Vidika came back even hungrier this season.
“He refuses to be broken or outdone,” Black River coach Corey Kline said. “The only thing he thinks about is prep for the state tournament. When he does anything, it is in prep to make the top of the podium.”
Vidika is on his way with an 18-1 record — 12 of those victories have been by pin — and had a 100-17 career mark heading into this week’s matches.
After a bitter 5-1 loss in the final of the Marion Harding Classic, Vidika came out the next weekend like a bee who just had his hive shaken, not allowing a single point in four bouts en route to winning the J.C. Gorman Invitational. It was his third tournament crown of the season.
“Every time I walk on the mat, I want to dominate,” Vidika said. “I’m not looking to win by one or two points; I’m going for the tech fall or the pin. That doesn’t always happen, but that’s my attitude.”
It’s a mindset Vidika started in June with frequent weight room visits, long runs by himself and training with any coach he could pick the brain of.
He then made the trip to Greensboro, N.C., in late October to compete in the Super 32 Challenge, one of the most prestigious preseason wrestling tourneys in the country. Vidika started with three wins before finishing 3-2 for the two days.
More importantly he learned a lot about himself.
“That showed me that I have the ability,” he said. “Everyone down there was good, so while I wasn’t pleased (going 3-2), it gave me confidence.”
Vidika now has his goals in line: Repeat as champ in the Patriot Athletic Conference, Northwestern Sectional and Garfield Heights District and make a third consecutive trip to Columbus, where he wants to win a state championship.
He has his goals mapped out beyond that, as well.
“My goal is to go on to a four-year college and then enlist in the Navy SEALs,” Vidika said. “It’s been on my mind since my sophomore year when a recruiter came to our school. And, hey, it’s the best military training in the world and I always like to be the best.
“I just couldn’t imagine myself sitting behind a desk all day. That’s just not for me.”
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.