Kewanee’s Robinson has one thing in mind his senior year: state title
Lewis Robinson made huge strides over his first three seasons as a member of the Kewanee wrestling team.
His win total increased from 19 as a freshman to 32 as a sophomore, to 40 and a runner-up finish at state as a junior.
This year, the KHS senior is off to a 7-0 start and is nearing the 100-win club.
Robinson went 3-0 in the Seneca Tournament this past weekend and took home the 152-pound title. He was also named the most valuable wrestler in the 145 - 285 pound divisions. His path to the tourney title included a 35-second pin in his first match of the day.
For winning the Seneca Tournament, and closing in on 100 career wins, Kewanee’s Lewis Robinson is the Star Courier’s Athlete of the Week.
When did you start organized wrestling and what got you into it?
“I started in 5th grade. I tried out basketball to see how it was and it wasn’t my thing. I was into WWE for a little bit, until I found out it was fake. So I wanted to actually wrestle people and there was a youth tournament, so I tried it out and liked it. I just stuck with it and got better.”
Obviously you haven’t lost a match so far this season. But in your mind, how have you wrestled so far and how is your conditioning level?
“I feel like I’m in the green, I feel like I’m doing really good. My conditioning is great – I can wrestle for hours and not get tired.”
How is being in ‘football shape’ different from being in ‘wrestling shape’?
“Football is different because you have to run a lot more. In wrestling, it’s just a little circle –– you can’t really run a lot. You can’t dodge anything on the wrestling mat.”
How hard is it for you to stay at 152 pounds?
“Me with weight is really hard. I start every Monday around 164ish and I drop down to 152 by Thursday. I’m natural with it, I can do it because I know how to flush out my body with water and I can burn it off throughout the week of practice.”
Where is your weight at during football season, and how hard is it to make that initial cut?
“Football weight I was around 170. Then I started slowing down my eating habits and started eating more greens. But I do still eat sweets –– I eat a lot of sweets.”
What was it like losing in the state championship last season?
“It was actually a learning experience. Not many people get to make it to it, and I was able to. A lot of people didn’t believe in me that I was gonna be able to do it. My main goal was to win state, but that got shut down real quick. But since he (Byron’s Nolan Baker) was so good, it’s nothing to be really upset about. He beat me fair and square.”
How did that match play out?
“He liked to throw people and I went in and tried throwing him. He counter-threw me and pinned me. (Coach) Eads was telling me I should shoot in on him, but I was like I’m gonna fight fire with fire.”
On a scale of 1-10, how bad do you want to win state as a senior?
“11. I want to win it bad. When I’m in the wrestling room, even in practice, I don’t let anyone score on me. My first goal was to not let anyone score on me all year. Nobody has taken me down or has gotten back points on me yet. I’m just working as hard as I can every day.”
What’s one of your most memorable matches?
“I have a lot of matches I really like looking back on. At state last year, when I wrestled (James) Schnerre in the semifinals, he beat me twice during the season and everybody thought I wouldn’t be able to beat him. I said to myself, ‘Ignore the naysayers and show them what you can do.’ I had good technique and my stamina was on the low-side toward the end of the match, but I got my move in and won the match.”
What goes through your mind when you pin somebody?
“I’ll get up, and I’ll think ‘that’s another one for the books.’ I think about leaving a legacy. I want people to know who I am. With the next guy I wrestle, I want him to know, that’s Lewis Robinson. I can’t go in there, I can’t play with him because he’s gonna do me like his last guy.”
Do you pay attention to what coach Eads yells at you during your matches?
“A lot of people don’t hear their coaches, but Eads is so loud and I gotta listen because he’s gonna help me win. In the Seneca final match, as soon as I would come up, all I could hear when I let him (Baan Rachal) out of the tilt, he said to go back in. So I went back in and I kept doing it and that’s how I won. I told all the younger guys, if you want to win, you should listen to coach.”
Who wins when your wrestle coach Eads in practice?
“To be honest, I’m not gonna lie, he wins. But it’s by just little, little things. He’ll beat me by a point or two. But I will beat him before the end of the season.”
What area have you improved the most from your freshman year to now?
“I’ve improved my offensive game. My freshman year I was letting people whoop me. My sophomore year I was capitalizing on people’s errors. My junior year I was mostly defensive, I let people shoot in on me so I could throw them. Now this year, I go at it, I go get it. I shoot right in at the whistle, I won’t wait for it anymore.”
More about Lewis Robinson
Favorite food –– Chili
Favorite school subject –– Anatomy
Favorite TV show –– Spongebob
Favorite team –– Chicago Bears
Family –– Parents; Zakeya Young and Lewis Robinson, siblings; Zena Rivers (8-year-old sister) and Da’mon Brown (13-year-old brother)
Other sports –– Football, track
Post high school plans –– “My main goal through all my wrestling, I want to make it to the Olympics - I want to be a medalist. Or I want to be a psychiatrist if that doesn’t work out.”
Top college choice –– Northern Illinois University
Athlete of the Week Honor Roll
Brittney Litton, Wethersfield –– Litton scored 55 combined points during Wethersfield’s wins over Monmouth-Roseville Saturday, and ROWVA on Monday.
Ben Buresh, Annawan –– Buresh had a pair of strong games this past week, as the Braves picked up a pair of wins. Buresh scored 21 points Saturday against Byron, and 15 Tuesday against Orion.
Carson Sauer, Kewanee –– The sophomore post averaged 14 points and 11 rebounds during the Boilermakers’ two losses last week.
Mason Kaiser, Galva –– The Galva guard averaged 17 points in the Wildcats’ wins over Sherrard and Midland. Kaiser and the Cats are off to a 6-1 start this year.