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One-on-One with Wildcat wrestler Tyler Banks

By Evan Grice

Sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Piedmont wrestler Tyler Banks recently sat down with the Surrey-Gazette during wrestling practice to talk about sports, the impact his family has on him, the upcoming Dual State meet for Piedmont, and many other topics.

Photo Provided by Julia Henry
Piedmont’s Tyler Banks looks for a pinning attempt during a match at Guthrie High School earlier this season in a dual against the Blue Jays for the Wildcats. Banks and the rest of the Wildcat wrestlers will be in action this Saturday at Yukon High School for the Class 5A Dual State competition which begins at 10 a.m.

PG: What is something about wrestling that people assume is true but isn’t?
TB: “Honestly, not eating. A lot of people assume that wrestlers don’t eat. There are a lot of kids that will not eat for a solid three days in order to make weight. It’s crazy but it does happen.”

PG: What is the most extreme measure you have ever gone to in order to make weight?
TB: “One time I didn’t eat for two days. I went in for a practice, and then two hours later I had to put on two different sweat suits and keep changing. It was a very tough process, and it made me work like 10 times harder. It was worth it though.”

PG: What is the best part of being a member of the Piedmont wrestling team? Is it getting to learn from Coach (Erik) Ford or knowing you are a part of a program that’s on the rise?
TB: “Honestly, I think it’s both. Coach Ford isn’t just a really good coach, but he’s a good friend as well. No one is afraid to ask him any type of questions because he’s going to be honest with us. We’ve also got a really solid group of teammates here. When we step on this mat then we all bond together as a group.”

Photo Provided by Julia Henry
Piedmont’s Tyler Banks circles around his opponent during a dual against Deer Creek earlier this season at Collett Fieldhouse in Piedmont. Tyler’s younger brother Nolan wrestles for the Piedmont junior high wrestling team, while his sister Bailey, is a member of the Piedmont Lady Wildcat volleyball team.

PG: When people say the name Banks around Piedmont, they automatically know about you, your sister Bailey and little brother Nolan, along with your family. What’s it like having a family that is so involved with Piedmont athletics?
TB: “It really is awesome to be honest. Not many kids can say their mom comes to every athletic event and yells, it just shows how much she cares.”
“My dad has never missed a wrestling match and getting to have my brother in wrestling is great as well. Bailey does great at volleyball and I love watching her. It’s just a great thing getting to live up to a standard in my family. My dad was my biggest reason for getting into wrestling.”

PG: Was your dad your main influence for getting into wrestling?
TB: “He definitely was. I started wrestling when I was 4 and it just grew on me. Wrestling in high school is so much different than anything else. My dad is always showing me his wrestling pictures and I want to be at that level someday. I want to be able to tell my kids that I was a great wrestler in high school like my dad.”

PG: So did Nolan coming into wrestling happen because of you?
TB: “Nolan would come to all of my tournaments when he was little, and he thought it would be fun. So we got him in there when he was young, and he’s been going ever since.”

PG: How much fun is it for you getting to be a fan watching your family members compete?
TB: “It’s a great feeling for me. I love watching Bailey play volleyball because she is so good at it. Nolan wrestling is a joy to watch for me as well. The town of Piedmont is just very supportive and I love going to all of the athletic events involving my family.”

PG: How would you describe the Dual State environment?
TB: “I’m treating this just like any other state competition to be honest. I know what that atmosphere is like after watching it last year. We’ve got a tough draw in Collinsville, but I think if we wrestle hard and compete it’s going to be a good experience for us.”

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