It was 10 years ago when Austin Harry was in second grade was asked by his dad, Keith if he wanted to wrestle.
Keith had wrestled in high school and Austin’s brother, Adam was already involved in the sport as well on his way to being district runner-up in 2009.
The rest was history for Austin.
“Since then, I fell in love with the sport,” Austin Harry said. “The physical aspect and how demanding it was.”
The younger Harry wasn’t very good in the sport until he got a few years under his belt and started attending camps and clinics to learn tricks and trades.
“There’s so many ladders in wrestling and you just have to keep climbing,” Harry said, referring to how wrestlers always have to get better.
Going to camps and clinics didn’t end there for the Lake-Lehman senior, who is The Times Leader Wrestler of the Year. Even though he also played soccer with the Black Knights, he continued to wrestle all year whether it was attending popular camps nationwide or locally.
He said wrestling more than just in-season is one of the most important aspects of the sport.
“Wrestling is so demanding you have to do it more. One of my favorite quotes is that ‘champions aren’t made in November to March, they’re made from April to October.’ You always have to do it. It’s so demanding that you have to do it all year round.”
Harry turned all that extra time put in into dozens of medals beginning in junior high as a seventh-grader for Lake-Lehman. He’s piled up four District 2 Class 2A golds, three Northeast Regional championships, and three medals at the PIAA Championships, where he improved every year - eventually taking third last month in Hershey.
The match that Harry will remember most of all came in the 2013 regional final against Cole Walter from Mifflinburg. Harry was losing by one point as the clock was ticking near the end. But he never gave up and registered a takedown as time expired to get the victory for regional title No. 2.
“To get that takedown and the drama in that match will always stick with me,” he said.
While he picked up many individual goals, one he would’ve liked to attain was a team championship. Sure the Black Knights won the District 2 Class 2A team title three times, but in all three of those years, they lost to Western Wayne in the District 2 Duals Tournament - all in dramatic fashion.
“We had a great team and a great run,” Harry noted. “It’s unfortunate we always came up short. We always came up one match short. I would’ve loved to go to states with all the guys.”
Harry will take his talents to West Point where he will wrestle next season.