BY DAVE RICCI firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — Cody McGregor finally allowed himself to enjoy the moment — for at least a little while, anyway.
Wednesday night, inside the George H. Miller Gymnasium, McGregor made history when he pinned Depew’s Brandon Williams 43 seconds into the first period to earn his 149th career win and become the all-time wins leader in Tonawanda Warriors wrestling.
“It’s pretty special but like I said before, it’s just another win,” Cody McGregor modestly stated after the win. “I’m just going to be back (Thursday) training for the next tournament.”
Winning the first nine matches of the season, McGregor now sits alone atop the Warriors win board after surpassing Ryan Mislin, whose record stood since 2001 and seemed almost unreachable.
The highlight of the Warriors’ 53-24 win over the Wildcats, McGregor was in charge the entire match. Cody used his legs to control Williams’ mid section while hooking his arms to control Williams upper body. Outmatched, Williams could only struggle helplessly until the inevitable moment of the ref slapping the mat and blowing his whistle.
After the match, Cody was given a plaque as Warriors coach Jeff Hess read a statement officially recognizing Cody as the new all-time leader in wins. Among family members in attendance were Cody’s older brothers Scott, Kyle and Jordan, who, with Cody, now have a combined 507 varsity wins.
“It shows the hard work that he’s putting in is paying off,” said Scott McGregor, who had 109 wins during his career as a Warrior.
“You see that come in the wrestling room and they’re working hard. But he’s working after practice, he comes to Victory (MMA) with me. On the weekends he goes to UB. Running when he doesn’t have to. Always going the extra mile.”
Tremendous influences on their younger brother Jordan (138 wins, 4th all-time), Scott and Kyle (2009 state champion) were all instrumental in shaping Cody’s approach to the sport.
“They all have different skills and styles of wrestling,” Cody said. “And I learned all of their styles and I put it all together as one. And they basically just helped me out everyday in the wrestling room.”
Mature. Focused. Determined. Choose whatever would you please to describe the businesslike approach Cody McGregor has when he is on the wrestling mat. If you were to ask McGregor about the staggering numbers he has put up you’ll see that wins, records and milestones take a backseat. The only match Cody McGregor is focused on is the one in front of him.
“I’m just trying to be the best,” Cody modestly stated. “If I win then I win, and the records come second.”
Though obviously heavily influenced and inspired by his brothers, their parents — Steve and Justine McGregor — have been cornerstones of young Cody’s life. They taught him the meaning of hard work, being humble and to be thankful not only for his amazing natural ability-but also for the people in his life who helped cultivate that skill.
“I’m very proud,” said Steve McGregor. “He’s matured a lot in the last year. I think last year, he was good, but he thought he was better than he was. I think this year he worked the hardest he’s ever worked over this past summer. I think he’s reaping the rewards now from that hard work.”
Making varsity as a seventh grader, Cody became the youngest Warrior to reach the coveted 100-win club when he hit the century mark in his freshman season.
“Soon as I was getting the pictures I realized it was more special than I thought,” Cody said.