A few minutes with ... Central wrestler Austin Gouedy _lowres

Austin Gouedy, Central wrestler

Central’s Gouedy is a defending state wrestling champion in Division II at 106 pounds and has won two straight titles at Baton Rouge’s City tournament. He’s a junior and is seeded second at 106 going into the LHSAA’s State Wrestling tournament that begins Friday at the Centurylink Arena in Bossier City.

How did you get involved in wrestling?

“One of my best friends on the team, Tyler Fontenot, got me involved with USA wrestling when I was in the eighth- grade. I really didn’t play sports much, just T-Ball when I was little. And it turned out I’m pretty good at it.”

Is the fact that smaller competitors have a place in wrestling one of the things that attracted you to the sport?

“It is because in wrestling size doesn’t always matter. It comes down to skills and strength. I think if you’re willing to work at it, you can be successful in wrestling?

You’re seeded second to Colten Sonnier of Teurlings Catholic going into the LHSAA tournament. Did that surprise you?

“No not really, because his record is a little better than mine. Right now I’m 38-8 and feel like I’ve wrestled against some good competition to get me ready for this meet.”

What are your strengths as a wrestler?

“Actually, I think my physical strength is one of the reasons I’m successful. I’ve been able to bench press 185 pounds. I work on getting stronger, along with my technique.”

The LHSAA meet is being held in a different location this year. Does that matter?

“Not really, but I have to say I don’t know what to expect. I’ve never been in that building. The thing you have to do is block everything out and just stay focused for two days.”

What points would you use to sell wrestling to someone who has never tried it before?

“What you get out of it is so important. You get to compete, but you also learn a lot of lessons and discipline you can apply in life, not just in wrestling.”

Compiled by Robin Fambrough