Andrew Register can feel the strength and encouragement from his two brothers and an entire school each time he takes to the mat. Maybe that’s why the junior at The Classical Academy is so hard to beat.
At 28-5 this season, Register ranks among the state’s top wrestlers in the 138-pound class as he seeks to make a third consecutive trip to the state meet and improve on his fifth-place finish from a year ago. But he’s quick to credit his success to his brothers and predecessors who put this still-young program on the map.
“I give a ton of credit to the guys who started everything,” Register said. “Being around them and seeing their hard work to get there, it’s made me understand what it takes to get there and where I am today.”
Register, the younger brother of TCA graduates and state-qualifying wrestlers Ben (2009) and Daniel (2012), leads 12 Titans into the 3A Region 3 tournament Friday and Saturday at Jefferson High School in Edgewater. A top-four finish would mean Register would return to the Pepsi Center for the state meet next weekend.
It would also mean having to choose which sleeve would wear his third commemorative patch. He already has one that adorns each shoulder of his crimson-and-gray letter jacket.
“That one will go on the right arm,” Register said. “But I have to take care of business this weekend. Records don’t matter anymore. You have to be confident in what you’re going to do and take it to people. At regionals, anybody can beat anybody."
Daniel Register (182) and Zach Dillon (160), who both graduated last year, hold the school record for best finish at state, both placing fourth in 2012. The last of the Register men – they have a sister in eighth grade – Andrew hopes his experience and setbacks of past years will help vault him higher.
Sean Collins, the Titans’ sixth-year coach, hopes so, too.
“Andrew was our first-ever placer at state as a sophomore,” Collins said. “He's learning to control each match and control his opponent, which is a huge component for him as he grows and matures. Every year, we’re growing as a program and get a first for the program. Hopefully, Andrew can take it up even further this year for another first for our program.”
And Register isn’t stopping with a third-place finish, either.
"My goal has always been to be a state champion. In my mind, it’s a matter of time. I want it real bad this year.”