Driven Dre-Son Scruggs leads Palmer's wrestling team03 Dec 2016
At lunch, Dre-Son Scruggs pulls out his phone and begins watching wrestling clips - some of himself, some of wrestlers he strives to be. He then opens his spiral notebook and jots down some notes for later. The Palmer senior isn't kidding about his rededication to the sport. He hopes he can become the Terrors' first state winner since Pete Chavez beat Wasson's Nick Avalos in the 107-pound class in 1970. "I just want to be great, losing sucks," Scruggs chuckled. "If you want to get better at something you have to put it all out there."
Scruggs won't say a third-place finish at state a year ago is the primary purpose for his newfound commitment to sport. The semifinals loss to eventual 138-pound champ Ryan Deakin of Legacy left a want, but Scruggs believes his love of the sport outweighs the rest. "I watch a ton of videos, at least an hour-and-a-half a day," he said, gleefully. "Honestly, I just love it so much. I like to win. I like the sport. It's effortless." Because of it, Scruggs has put more time in the weight room and on the mat. His teammates and coaches rave about the senior's improvement, something he showcased at some of the biggest tournaments in the country. "He's stellar on his feet, very explosive off the bottom, rides really well on top," Palmer coach Martin Davidson said. "He's really become a well-rounded wrestler."
At the USA Wrestling Junior National Championships in Fargo, N.D. over the summer - widely considered a destination for top talent - Scruggs had a 4-4 record in the 145-pound class and finished in the top 16 in Greco-Roman style. Then at Monster Match Nationals in Denver earlier this month, he finished fourth. "He wants to wrestle big tournaments, he wants to wrestle top competition," Davidson said. "He always tells me he wants to be great. After state last year he said, 'I want to be great.'" It won't be easy.
Depending on who ends up in what weight class by February, Scruggs may have to go through top wrestlers like Poudre's Jacob Greenwood, who won his second straight title in 132s, or Lakewood's Gabriel Dinette, who won 145s. He's not stressing about it, though. "The goal is to really just have fun," Scruggs said, "and win championships." Scruggs isn't the only dedicated wrestler. Dylan Owens-Hailey, Max Nice and Nicolas Alvarez also wrestled at Fargo Nationals and should help lead the Terrors this year. "All of us are very committed and we kind of all stayed tight," Nice said. "After (Fargo), we recommitted ourselves and had more of a love and respect for the sport."