By Tony Macellaio ‘22

After three years of wrestling in high school Tommy Bennett is still chasing something. Bennett has qualified to state every year throughout his high school tenure. He has yet to stand on the podium as a champion, but something is different this year.

As a senior captain of the team, Bennett has embraced his role and made some major adjustments to his approach this season.

With COVID-19 causing an unusual wrestling season last year it was easy for athletes to slack off and lose leverage on other competitors.

Tommy did the opposite.

Morning workouts became a usual start to the day before heading to school for Bennett. “This whole season I’ve changed my work ethic and attitude towards wrestling,” said Bennett.

When the season began, teammates could already notice a difference. “There’s an undeniable separation between everyone in the room and Tom,” said senior Jimmy Hogan.

His resume can back it up. So far this season, Bennett is (17-1) with two first place finishes and one third place finish. If that isn’t enough, on Jan. 12, Bennett committed to Northern Illinois University to continue his wrestling career.

There is still one thing that he doesn’t have.

He’s still chasing a state title. There’s no doubt that Tommy can’t win state this year. And there’s no doubt he is completely focused on winning.

“My mindset going into the postseason is to maintain complete focus on making a run for a state title,” said Bennett.

To complete the mission and stand at the top of the podium at the end of the season  would put Tommy in an elite group of wrestlers in Brother Rice history.