Indiana Daily Student

Senior fights through injury

Captain 2nd in career wins among wrestlers

Next time you roll your ankle, bruise your knee or jamb a finger, remember Hoosier wrestling captain Kevin Stanley. \nHe is no stranger to pain.\nIn a practice midway through his sophomore season, Stanley, now a senior, injured his knee. He returned from his winter break that season with no anterior cruciate ligament .\n"The kid wrestled a whole Big Ten season with no ACL and qualified for Nationals," said Pat Cassidy, assistant coach and former teammate. "I don't know if I could have done it, but that is just the kind of guy he is."\nDespite the injury, the senior has had a remarkable career. He ranks second in career wins among active IU wrestlers (96) and is looking to record his fourth consecutive 20-win season. He has been an NCAA qualifier at 157 pounds each of his three years as a Hoosier and is on pace to qualify this season at 165 pounds.\nStanley's toughness as a wrestler took shape when he was young. He began wrestling in Richmond, Mo., at age 7. His high school career took off at Hemet High School in Riverside, Calif. After qualifying for the California state tournament in his first two years at Hemet, Stanley returned to Richmond for his final two years of high school. \nStanley went 42-0 and was Missouri state champion at Oak Grove High School his junior season. In his senior year, he lost only one match, by injury default because of a herniated disk in his neck. He recovered from the injury during the season and proceeded to repeat as state champion, finishing 28-1. \n Stanley said his father has been the source of his strength throughout his injuries.\n"My father always kept me motivated and tried to instill a competitive attitude in me," Stanley said. "Sometimes too much; if anything, I get a little too competitive."\nUpon arrival in Bloomington, Stanley was redshirted. During his first season in uniform, he posted a 25-12 record, including six pins and a 4-3 Big Ten record. \nStanley said he wrestled well throughout his freshman year. Three wins against three opponents who would become All-Americans later that year highlighted his season. Stanley said he faltered at the NCAA Championships. Stanley's freshman season injuries didn't hamper his campaign, and he used that season to formulate his goals as a Hoosier wrestler.\n"When I went to the NCAA, I didn't wrestle to the best of my ability," Stanley said. "When I saw everyone on that award stand, and I had beaten three out of the eight guys up there that year, I was angry."\nThe following season, Stanley jumped to a quick 11-0 start and was ranked as high as fourth in his weight class. After suffering the knee injury, Stanley clawed his way to a 21-4 record, 5-3 in the Big Ten. He finished 27-8 his junior year, despite knee surgery before the season. He said the injury made him a more cautious wrestler as a junior.\nStanley entered his senior season at 165 pounds, giving him the ability to wrestle with stronger teammates in practice. He has been consistently ranked in the top 15 during the season and his record stands at 23-8. \nJunior teammate Viktor Sveda said Stanley is one of the most powerful wrestlers on the team.\n"He is an extremely strong and physical wrestler," Sveda said. "He is able to get inside guys and out-muscle them."\nStanley said he has not achieved his ultimate goal of becoming an All-American and challenging for the national championship. He said his past injuries have him feeling about 80 percent, but he is confident he will be competing not only for a spot as an All-American but also for a national title by season's end. \nCassidy said with Stanley's courage and motivation, he has a real shot at the national title.\n"As a friend and as I move into the coaching role, I don't see any reason why not," Cassidy said. "I know Kevin. I have seen him when he was firing on all cylinders, and I know what he is capable of doing"

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