Jackson senior aims for 4th appearance at state | WrestlingAnderson medaled for the first time at last year’s 4A meet
Jackson’s Cole Anderson came into his senior year with the goal of making the most of what is going to be his final season of wrestling.
After last year’s 4A state tournament where he earned a medal for the first time, Anderson stuck to his usual routine of cardio and weight training. He even focused a little more on improving his strength, which helps explain why Anderson moved up from the 132-pound weight class to 138 and 145 this season.
“I never stopped training from the postseason last year to this season,” Anderson said.
All the time in his home gym in the offseason and the hours and hours at practice with his teammates and Jackson coach Sherman Iversen have helped Anderson to a near perfect regular season. Wrestling mostly at 145, Anderson compiled a 26-1 overall record with 23 pins.
The lone loss was to Stanwood’s Mason Phillips, who has won three national titles, at the Everett Classic.
Anderson has taken his game to another level in Iversen’s opinion. The Jackson standout, who took seventh at last year’s state championships, was a strong competitor with many pins.
“The difference this year is the matches he wins, he dominates,” Iversen said.
While Anderson might have pinned opponents in the second or third round last year, this season he’s recorded a lot of first-round falls.
At last month’s Marysville-Pilchuck Premier tournament, Anderson pinned all four of his opponents in the first round en route to a first-place finish.
“He didn’t even have a full match of wrestling time,” Iversen said. “It’s kind of how his year has gone.”
Anderson came into the Jackson program four years ago with strong skills, Iversen said. “He did a few things really well.”
But the Jackson coach added that Anderson had other areas where he wasn’t quite as strong, such as when he was on his feet or in the neutral position.
“Now he’s got a really well-rounded game,” Iversen said. “He’s polished in all areas.”
Anderson is aiming for his fourth straight appearance at the state tournament, an accomplishment few wrestlers achieve.
“That would be pretty big,” Anderson admitted. “I’d like to take top three at least.”
What’s impressive to Iverson is that Anderson didn’t just go 0-2 at Mat Classic like many wrestlers do.
“He’s had a pin every year he’s been in it,” Iversen said.
The road to the Tacoma Dome, site of the state wrestling championships, starts at the 4A District tournament on Friday, Feb. 3 at Glacier Peak High School.
When people ask Anderson about state, it’s difficult for him to answer because he doesn’t look that far ahead. This week his focus is on preparing for districts.
The key in the coming weeks, Anderson said, “is just how hard I work. … It’ll come down to how much I’m working out and the food I’m eating.”
While some teenagers like junk food, Anderson avoids it and said that he eats relatively healthy, especially with the help of his mother.
“I do have a little bit of a sweet tooth here and there,” he said. “It’s not that bad.”
Following his seventh place finish at state last year, Anderson was invited to a national tournament in Virginia in March. But after that tournament Anderson will be retiring his singlet forever.
Anderson’s impact on the Jackson wrestling program has been major and much appreciated by Iversen.
“As he’s come through the program, the program has grown with him. His parents have been supportive,” Iversen said. “He’s a leader by example and without Cole in this program, it would be in a much different place. … Hopefully, we’re moving in the right direction. We wouldn’t be nearly as far down the road as we are. I appreciate everything he’s done for the program.”
Anderson doesn’t think too much about giving up the sport he started when he was 7. His life has revolved around wrestling for so long.
“It’s a big confidence builder,” he said.
When people meet Anderson for the first time, wrestling usually come up in the conversation.
“It’s kind of shaped me as a person,” Anderson said. “When people ask about me … Wrestling is usually the first thing I say.”
Sometimes Anderson is motivated by the prospect of a future without the sport he loves so much.
“I want to try to end with a bang and make the most out of my last little bit of wrestling,” he said.