When Troy Seymour was five, he went to the New York state tournament for the first time and watched Peru heavyweight Nick Weaver win the championship. He set a goal for himself then and there.
“Troy vowed he would be a heavyweight by the time he finished high school,” said Indians coach Mike Hogan. “He started out as 103-pound seventh grader and dreamed of being a big guy. I might be able to get him in at 220 pounds this year, depending on his weight, but he’s not going to make it. He’s not going to be a heavy.”
That might be the only unattainable goal for Seymour as he embarks on his senior campaign. The Peru grappler has his sights set on a few other things this season, including a move up the podium in Albany at the end of February.
“My first priority is to be a state champ this year,” Seymour said.
Seymour finished fourth a year ago, placing for the first time at the state tournament. Twice before he had come within one bout of a medal.
After beginning at the Times Union Center in 2012 with a 7-2 decision, Seymour met Burke Paddock, an opponent he had faced many times before. However, this meeting was different, as Seymour came out on top 3-2 in double overtime, to punch his ticket to the semifinals. He next faced undefeated Nick Mitchell of Frewsburg (now at Edinboro) and liked his chances as the clock wound down in the final period with the score deadlocked.
“I felt good about the match going into overtime,” he said. “But then I had a hiccup with about 11 seconds left on the clock, made a mistake and got taken down.”
While he missed out on the finals in Albany (he came back to take fourth), he did make the finals of a significant tournament just a few weeks later – the NHSCA Junior Nationals in Virginia Beach. Seymour won five straight matches to earn a spot in the title bout with Ethan Ramos of New Jersey, a contest that was tied late in the third before Ramos recorded the fall.
Seymour was far from finished with his offseason competition. He wrestled at the Junior Duals in Oklahoma City, at Fargo and other places in between.
“Troy is a year round wrestling guy,” Hogan said. “He likes wrestling more than 99% of the kids I’ve ever coached. They tried to make him a linebacker in football and he played soccer for a year, but those things weren’t for him. It’s all about wrestling. He’s always doing something related to wrestling. He’s never said no when I’ve asked him to go to a tournament. We’re five hours away from many events. He’s probably spent more time in a car than any New York kid his age travelling to tournaments, but he’s willing to go anywhere. He’s really competitive.”
That competitive nature comes out when discussing the Section 7 wins record. Both Seymour and Northern Adirondack’s Justin Kellett recorded their 150th victory last season as juniors. Both have a chance to break the current Section mark of 183 triumphs. Seymour wants to do that, break 200 and see his name at the top of the leader board when the campaign is over.
“I think Kellett is up by one or two wins right now,” Hogan said [before the season started]. “If Kellett is at 160, Troy said he’ll pull to 160 for a dual to wrestle Kellett there, to try to make sure he gets one less win.”
“It would be cool to wrestle [Kellett],” Seymour added. “We’ve never wrestled in a real match, only at Sectional practices.”
Even if he does drop for a match, Seymour plans to spend most of his time at 170 pounds again. And he plans to stay around that weight in the future, likely competing at 174 pounds at the next level.
“I think I’ve always wanted to be Division I wrestler,” Seymour said. “It would be a great experience and I think I’m good enough to go.”
“Troy will be a good one in college,” Hogan said. “He’s young for his grade and he’s gotten a lot more physical over the past year after weightlifting hard. He’s always been good on his feet and on bottom and he could ride. But the difference last year was that he could turn people. He became a lot more effective on top.”
That’s been true in his senior year as well. He has raced out to an 11-0 record with nine pins and two forfeits.
Two schools Seymour was considering as of the start of wrestling season were Hofstra and Rider. According to Hogan, he won’t have much trouble becoming acquainted with the people wherever he chooses to go.
“Troy is extremely outgoing,” Hogan said. “We go to a tournament in a gym with 200 people in it and by the time it’s over, Troy knows everyone. He’s like the mayor, hugging everyone. He likes to be where the action is – a really outgoing kid.”
That quality is helpful to Seymour as he spends a significant amount of time coaching the peewee wrestlers in the area, and it also helps in his role as leader of the Peru team.
“I’d just like him to stay healthy and be a good captain for us this year,” Hogan said of his expectations for the season. “I’m sure he’ll have a great year. It always takes a little luck to win states, but Troy is definitely good enough to be a state champion.”