In wrestling, moving up a weight class can spell disaster, as competition against heavier, stronger opponents makes winning harder and losing more likely.
That’s not the case for Henry Schlossberg ’13, who made the jump from 220 lbs. to heavyweight this year only to go further in CIF postseason than he and almost everyone else in school history had.
Schlossberg became just the third Wolverine to make it to the State championship meet, and only the second to win a match there, as he went 2-2 at the March 1 tournament held in Bakersfield.
“He definitely had a history-making year,” Head Wrestling Coach Gary Bairos said.
Schlossberg, who is committed to Princeton to play football, credits his success in part to the weight class switch.
“I gave up a lot of weight to some bigger guys, but that had a lot to do with it because a lot of those guys aren’t quite as athletic as the lighter guys,” Schlossberg said. “With football I didn’t have to manage my weight as much this year, because at Princeton they want me to be as big as possible.”
His coach attributes Schlossberg’s deep CIF run to his work ethic and interest in the sport.
“Henry is a good student of the sport,” Bairos said. “He’s always been from day one very passionate about wrestling, where he seeks out getting better. He doesn’t just wait to get better by osmosis. He’s like a sponge.” Schlossberg’s top 16 finish is made all the more improbable by his relative newness to wrestling, Bairos said.
“He’s only been wrestling for two and a half years, so he’s relatively new to the sport,” Bairos said. “I would say that 99 percent of the wrestlers in his weight class have been wrestling for far more than five years. Considering that he’s just scratching the surface.
“I think if we had him another year, like if he’d wrestled freshman year, he would have been on the podium. He’s just a great kid, great student, very coachable, a pleasure to be around and his trajectory every year he just kept getting better and better.”
Schlossberg’s improvement was epitomized by one of his wins at the state meet, where he beat a wrestler who pinned him the week before at Master’s meet by a margin of 10-2.
The state meet was Schlossberg’s swan song as a Harvard-Westlake athlete, though he’s unsure if it was for wrestling as well.
“I want to at least work out in the wrestling room at Princeton, but I’m not sure about competing yet,” he said.
“I know he’s going to Princeton to play football, but I think that the wrestling team would love to have him,” Bairos said. ‘Guys that are that big, that athletic, that coachable – they’re hard to find.”