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  • Val T.

The state qualifiers: Grant Holloway

Frosh overcomes knee injury to make state


Sports Editor, RTC

Grant Holloway

Rochester freshman 106-pound wrestler Grant Holloway suffered a knee injury during a tournament at Plymouth on Dec. 2.

The injury required surgery to fix. On Friday, 76 days after he suffered the injury, Holloway will be wrestling in the IHSAA state finals after finishing fourth at the East Chicago semistate.

He will face Delta’s Jensen Boyd in the first round at the Ford Center in Evansville Friday.

“It feels pretty good coming off that I tore my meniscus and had to have surgery at the beginning of the season,” Holloway said at the East Chicago semistate after finishing fourth. “It feels great.”

Holloway returned to the mat for the Class 1A team state duals at Rochester on Jan. 6, about three weeks after the surgery. Rochester wrestlers had tried not to trumpet that Holloway had begun practicing.

Holloway then went 3-0 against wrestlers from Prairie Heights, Cowan and Adams Central, helping the team capture the title.

“Rehab wasn’t really hard,” Holloway said. “It was just getting my mobility back and strength.”

Holloway comes from a wrestling family. His father Derrick is an assistant coach on Clint Gard’s staff.

He relied on what he called a “blast double,” where he grabs an opponent by both legs before depositing them on the mat. From there, he uses a wing move from the top position to turn his opponent and get back points.

Older brother Ethan, a 2023 Rochester grad, got within one win of making state three years in a row, but lost in the ticket round at the Fort Wayne semistate in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Once he pinned Rensselaer’s Kolby Robinson to clinch his state spot, the elated Holloway pointed with both index fingers at the Rochester contingent of fans where his brother was sitting.

“It feels great to outgo him, I would say,” a smiling Holloway said. “It feels awesome. … Ethan gives me good tips on wrestling and what to do, and he motivates me. He texts me like every day telling me it’s all in your head.”

Ther Ford Center will be the largest venue in which Holloway has ever wrestled. That brings to Holloway’s mind some other advice his brother gave him.

“Don’t have the arena suck you in,” Holloway said Ethan told him. “You can go out to a big arena, and all the crowds can get to you, and I try not to let that get to me.”

Holloway eventually lost to Lake Central’s Mason Jones and Plymouth’s Alonzo Chantea in the semifinals and third-place match, respectively. Jones and Chantea are both seniors.

“They’re both stronger than me, and that’s my biggest weakness right now,” Holloway said. “I’m going to try and get bigger and stronger over the summer.”

Holloway has been wrestling since he was 4.

“I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” Holloway said. “I’ve been going down to state and watching the state finals. I could just visualize myself being there wrestling Friday night, and now I get to do it.”

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