As the younger brother of Conan and Conor Becker, Northmor freshman Cowin Becker entered high school with big expectations.
Conan was a three-time placer who was state runner-up as a senior, while Conor took third as a sophomore and then won his weight class as a junior before his attempt to be a two-time champion was ended by the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the youngest Becker was able to earn bragging rights over his brothers in one way this past weekend at the state wrestling meet. By finishing seventh at 113 pounds in Division III, he became the first of the three to become a state placer as a freshman. Conan was a state alternate in his first year, while Conor qualified and went 1-2.
After splitting his first two matches, Becker earned a spot on the podium by defeating Zachary LaPlante of Toledo Christian 7-4 in his first consolation bout. The Northmor wrestler led the entire way, taking a 4-0 lead after the first period on a takedown and back points and leading 7-2 after two periods on his way to the win.
“It’s the greatest feeling ever,” he said about knowing he’d be on the podium. “In my regular season, I worked hard, but when I got to the postseason, I worked even harder.”
Becker added that competing in a venue like The Schottenstein Center in the state meet just added to his excitement.
“As a wrestler who started really young, I’ve been in pretty big stadiums, but this is definitely a different level,” he said. “It just makes me want to wrestle hard.”
Becker started his day with an easy win, as he quickly took down Nick Roberts of Plymouth with a head-and-arm and pinned him at the 1:01 mark. However, he would struggle in the quarterfinals against Eli Campbell of Legacy Christian, trailing 5-0 after one period in what ended an 11-1 major decision.
“It was tough losing in the quarters because it would have been huge to beat that kid,” he said. “But I had to come back and work harder.”
After topping LaPlante, Becker was edged 4-3 by Jericho Quinter of Covington. After a scoreless first period, Becker gave up a reversal and back points to trail 4-0. While he got an escape to end that period and scored two more points in the third, he would not be able to complete the comeback.
However, he would bounce back Sunday morning in the seventh-place match. Competing against Brady Funk of Mogadore, he tallied a takedown in the first period and got a reversal in the second on his way to winning 4-1.
“He was the only freshman in the bracket,” said head coach Scott Carr. “He’s a Becker — he’s been trained for this his entire life. We’ve only had one four-time placer at Northmor in Tyler Heminger. Heminger started his career with 45 wins as a freshman and he (Becker) had 47. The future is bright. There are a lot of milestones he can cross on his journey.”
For his part, Becker is just looking at what he can do to move higher on the podium.
“I don’t really look at the future,” he said. “I want to focus on the present. I’m excited to get back at it next year and see what happens. Once you get into the postseason, it’s either win or go home. With that in mind, it makes everyone want to wrestle harder.”
And having a pair of brothers who experienced a lot of success for the Golden Knights also helps.
“They told me at the beginning of the season to work hard,” he said. “High school wrestling is a lot different than middle school. Just work hard.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS