Wrestling is a sport that requires various types of dedication. The season brings constant weight loss and weight gain in short periods of time. Players rigorously study upcoming opponents, preparing to take them down. Balancing such a tough sport with school and other commitments can be hard. Junior Tommy Kimbrell shows he has what it takes, juggling a tough school schedule, various clubs and activities and being one of the top-ranked wrestlers in the area.
Kimbrell has been wrestling for 11 years, more than half of his life. He has earned three varsity letters while gathering multiple achievements and victories. He earned a Gold Medal in the AAU Junior Olympics competition over the summer.
Kimbrell had an interesting journey to the District Championship last year. He was a District alternate, meaning he could compete only if another wrestler who qualified couldn’t compete due to injury or some other reason. “He worked extremely hard that week of practice,” said Assistant Coach Bob Franz. “There was a chance that he wouldn’t even get to compete, and he still got after it at practice.”
Kimbrell ended up getting that chance to compete at Districts, where he placed sixth. “That was definitely the highlight of my season last year,” said Kimbrell.
Last year, Kimbrell wrestled in the 145-pound weight class last year and is in the 160-pound weight class this season. Fellow teammate and senior Kyle Chambers is positive that Kimbrell will succeed. “Tommy is a very impressive wrestler; he’s going to do really well this season,” said Chambers.
Kimbrell is ranked 2nd in his weight class in the GWOC as of Dec. 14. He holds a record of 8-1 and has had four pins.
Kimbrell can be considered “old school” in the way he performs. He doesn’t focus on being the best; he gets his drive from his passion for the sport. “Being good depends on how hard you work, not just if you have pure talent,” he said.
Some look at leadership as a seniority position. Kimbrell may only be a junior but he lets his actions lead the way. “He’s a huge asset to the team, especially when it comes to leadership,” said Franz. “He really leads by example and it helps bring the team together.”
Kimbrell has set high expectations for himself this season, but he plans to reach them. “I really want to place at State this year. It’s going to take a lot to do it, but I am willing to work my best,” said Kimbrell.
Along with being a successful wrestler, Kimbrell is a very involved student at Fairmont. He’s the French Club treasurer, a Junior Class Council member and is involved in Ohio Model United Nations. He also maintains a rigorous course schedule with five AP and IB classes. “I use my time at school wisely and make my commitments a priority,” Kimbrell said.
Kimbrell’s efforts on and off the mat have shown he is a well-rounded high school athlete. His hard-working mentality allows him to be successful in all of his areas.
“I love being involved, and I think each thing I do helps me in all of my other activities,” said Kimbrell.