WATERTOWN – For Watertown-Mayer’s Austin Gabbert, it’s always been about putting in the work. The hard work and determination the junior wrestler for the Royals paid off this season, earning him the 2019-2020 Herald Journal Wrestler of The Year.
“Austin Gabbert is a tremendous worker and a tremendous leader in our room and in our program,” W-M coach Kurt Becker said. “He not only helps the other guys in his room, but he also helps work with our elementary program.”
After taking fifth place at state a season ago, Gabbert would not be denied this time. Gabbert would finish in second place at the Class AA state tournament at 126.
“Finishing my season in the finals was nice,” Gabbert said. “It was my one goal all season, and when I got there, I wanted to take home the first-place medal. I feel like I didn’t leave everything in my finals match, but it was a great learning experience for me.”
Getting a taste of wrestling in the state title match has only given Gabbert a bigger spark. For a kid that’s already racked up the awards and works hard, the sky is limit for him.
“He has put in countless hours in the off-season and has grown as a person,” W-M coach Bill McDonald said. “He is currently a three-time section champion, as well as a three-time state place winner.”
Just a junior, Gabbert will be looking to get back to that state title match once again in his senior season next year. For his coaches, they are excited to see what the future has in store for one of their top wrestlers.
“He’s a very disciplined wrestler with amazing strength and quickness,” Becker said. “His skill set is beyond solid; it’s fantastic. We are excited to see what Austin can accomplish his senior season and beyond his high school career.”