MAXWELL, Neb. (KNOP) - Brett Riggs has qualified for the state tournament each of his first three years, but has not finished higher than third any year. Now a senior, Riggs is 46-0 after Friday's win in the Class D District 4 meet, and he's keeping his eye on the prize.
"This is my last year, so I have to put in the work, and a short time until state, so just gotta keep working," Riggs said.
Riggs picked up his 150th career pin in January, and is 187-15 with 155 pins. He passed his brother Cameron for the Class D record for career pins, who had 146. It is possible Riggs finishes his career with the most pins in NSAA history.
Maxwell head coach Ryan Jones acknowledges that just because Riggs is the only senior on the team does not mean his leadership was not earned.
"With that comes responsibilities, but not everybody is a leader just because you're a senior, Brett definitely is," Jones said.
Jones added, "He's the kind of kid who stays after practice, and if no one else wants to, he's up here shadow wrestling just to get better, and that's what it takes to be a champ, I know that's his ultimate goal this year is to be a state champ."
With so many of his wins coming by pin, Riggs has a simple explanation: he seizes an opportunity when it's given to him.
"If my opponent makes a mistake, I'm going to capitalize on that," Riggs said.
Jones has a more concrete explanation for Riggs' success, "He's got one of the best head locks I've ever seen in my life, and everybody knows it's coming, everybody tries to stop it and prevent it, but he's just that good at it."
This year, Riggs passed his expertise on to the junior high wrestling team by being an assistant coach.
"It was just a student aide thing that came up and it was super fun. I loved coaching with the kids, and they loved having me around... at least I think so," Riggs laughed, adding, "It's kind of good for me, because I get to go over the basics."
Jones, who is also the Maxwell Activities Director, loves to put Riggs on the spot.
"I always put him on the spot, like at pep rallies, and team meetings. I never tell him he's going to talk, and every time he walks by me he says 'you never let me know,' and I did it to him at the pep rally last Friday. He gets up there and wings it, but he always does a good job," Jones said, adding, "The elementary kids love him here, the whole school body does, and he's up there winging it, and everybody loves it."
When asked about about his performances after he's put on the spot, Riggs said sometimes his brain moves faster than his mouth can. He also said people tell him the pitch of his voice drops when he's in front of the crowd.
Jones also pointed out Riggs is happy no matter what the situation.
"Someone that's always smiling in class or in the hallways. Even when he's cutting weight, the kid's in a good mood. His spirit is awesome, and we love having him here," Jones said.
Riggs was unable to provide specifics when asked about his wrestling plans post high school, but said he has some things in the works.
One thing he did say is people should 'keep an eye out' for him.