PALMYRA, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- Heading into the state championships, Ethan Vernatter has just one win by points this wrestling season for Fluvanna County. His more than 20 other wins have all come by pinfall.
"Its something I always look for," Vernatter said. "Its definitely the type of wrestler I am. I want to pin them and be over with it. Its a nice feeling to say I pinned you. The match is over because I said so."
That success as a senior is from years of hard work. Vernatter is a three sport standout for the Flucos, also running cross country and playing on the lacrosse team.
"I like to have to work hard and push myself," he said. "I loved the amount of effort you had to put in. It wasn't something easy that you could just pick up and say I want to wrestle."
"The way that he's persevered, sacrificed a little bit to obtain the goals," said Fluvanna County wrestling coach Michael Gore. "That quite type of leadership. When he's doing things, this year has been a lot easier to coach him. It seems like he's listening a lot more."
This year, the veteran has had his share of talking to do. Vernatter served as captain for the young Flucos. That forced the senior to change up his lead by example approach.
"Its always easy to follow," Gore said. "The hardest thing is... in order to grow, you have to put yourself in difficult situations. Naming him a captain this year really came from the years of hard work."
"I definitely lead by example more," Vernatter added, "which is why its hard for me to then go and say to them we're doing this now."
On the brink of his state championship tournament, Vernatter says he is up for the challenge.
"Long as he stays focused and committed to doing just what," Gore said, "trying to reach his goals."
"When its all done," Vernatter said, "I gave it my all and I really tried. It wasn't something that anyone could do."