Lisbon senior Jordan Urbach didn't want to wrestle. He wanted to play basketball. In eighth grade, his dad and older brother convinced him to try wrestling. They told him if worse came to worse he could always quit, but just try to see if he made the Lisbon team.
So Urbach gave it a try.
"I tried it when I was real little and didn't like it," Urbach said. "My first year (on varsity) I qualified for state and I was hooked then. I liked how it was all me and more of an individual sport."
And here he is, in his fifth high school wrestling season with the Broncos, ranked No. 1 in his weight class heading to the North Dakota Class B state tournament that begins Thursday in the Fargodome. He hasn't given up a takedown all season.
"It's been one of the most dominant seasons I can remember, not just in Lisbon, but in North Dakota, and I've been coaching here in Lisbon the last 15 years as an assistant," Libson co-head coach Richard Lacina said. "He is a great kid, great leader and great teammate."
He's 38-0 with 31 pins, five forfeits, one technical fall and one major decision. One match has gone a full six minutes.
"I can't think of anything like it," Lisbon co-head coach Kevin McCleary said. "The only points he's given up are defensive points, escapes. I've never seen something quite like it. We've had some pretty solid wrestlers. He's on the top of the list with a few others."
The fact Urbach didn't start until eighth grade makes this season even more unfathomable.
"No elementary wrestling," McCleary said. "Everything he's done is hard earned. He lives in the weight room. He lifts and diets. He's pretty committed to his lifting."
Saying Urbach lives in the weight room isn't that implausible. After winning a state title at 170 pounds last season, Urbach is wrestling at 220 this season.
"It's just hours of mat time and hours of spending time at the gym getting stronger," Urbach said. "I try to be active every day somehow, doing something in the weight room or mat. The seniors last year really helped me grow and get better at wrestling and step up to the plate."
He's headed to Minnesota State Moorhead to wrestle in college, but he still has some business to take care of. He wants to follow in his older brother's footsteps and win a second state title. That's the same brother, Dylan, who convinced him to wrestle.
"I'd like to try to win another one to just say I tied him," Urbach said. "It's crazy to think about. It seems like just yesterday I was just coming up in that wrestling room. It hasn't hit me yet until after the weekend is over yet. Then I'll realize it's all over."
Urbach has come a long way since that eighth-grader, who was in awe of qualifying for the state tournament at 120 pounds. He's heading to his fifth state tournament with a second-place finish and a state title on his resume. He also learned a lesson through a sport he almost didn't try.
"Hard work and determination can get you anything you want in life," Urbach said.