Oconee County High School sophomore Mac Bowen got fed up with losing. The first few weeks as a wrestler weren’t kind to the wide-eyed freshman last season.
Bowen took loss after loss until he had an epiphany that led him to leaning on the experiences of his older brother and former OCHS wrestler Drake Bowen.
Bowen was joined by his younger brother Nathan Bowen and the Bowen brothers went to work.
They got in the gym and practiced wrestling one another. Scuffling with their older and more experienced brother made both Bowen brother tough and they learned that hard work is the key to being a successful athlete.
“I told myself if I needed to work harder to win, then I need to,” Bowen said. “During the Christmas break I went out with my brother my older brother. He had some practices with us and I started learning more and getting better technically and I just kept going from there. My first year was a big starting point.”
The losses are few and far in between for the sophomore Bowen.
Bowen qualified for the state tournament last season following his slow start which achieved the goal he set for himself after the Christmas break. It acted as validation for what working a little harder and doing a little extra could do. Bowen had only done brasilian jiu jitsu prior to joining the Warriors in 2018, but the extra work has helped him gain a passion for wrestling that hadn’t existed previously.
“I saw the results,” Bowen said. “At the beginning of that season losing and losing and then working harder and more and then I started winning. I ended up making it to state. That was my main goal.”
Saturday he added his first trophy to his individual trophy case as he won the East Metro Invitational 113-pound weight class.
His performance has made Bowen this week’s Oconee Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation/Oconee Enterprise Athlete of the Week.
Bowen’s confidence grew from what his head coach Al Yauck felt was the best performance he’d had in his two years in the program.
“It was good and I was proud of myself,” Bowen said. “It was my first ever first place finish. I really felt good about it. I went out there 100 percent and attacked.”
Oconee Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation/Oconee Enterprise Athlete of the Week is chosen by the sports staff of The Oconee Enterprise. You are welcome to email nominations to email@example.com by Monday at 10 a.m.
Oconee Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation can be reached at www.oconeept.com