Athlete of the Week: Tyler Waltz of South Tama - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Athlete of the Week: Tyler Walz of South Tama

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South Tama's Tyler Walz has one final shot at a championship, and it's not a lack of confidence standing in his way.

South Tama coach Nate Van Dyke says,  "He was one match away last year, and he's a year older, year more experienced, year better."

The South Tama senior, who plans on retiring his wrestling shoes after high school, finished 5th at last year's state tournament.  His second time on the podium.

This year, ranked second at 152 pounds, Tyler's confident the time he's sacrificed on the mat can get him to the top this year

Tyler says, "I can beat everyone out there. I'm working harder than anyone, so I can beat anyone. I think I can do it."

Van Dyke adds, "He's wrestled so many matches in his life ever since he was a little kid, so he's been in big matches. He knows how to act. He knows how to get mentally prepared."

While focusing much of his time on his own improvement,Tyler's also become a leader in the Trojan's wrestling room, dedicating himself to making his teammates better as well.

Van Dyke says, "His drill partner won about five matches last year and he's now getting close to 20 this year."

But as for what drives Walz to get better, it's just the simple feeling of having his arm raised at the end of each match, something that's happened 127 times in his high school career.

Tyler says, "I love winning, knowing I'm the only one that controls it. I control the outcome, and I love winning."

Now with sectionals and districts on tap, Tyler's focused on having his arm raised one last time, on finals night of the state meet.

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