In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy’s house was ripped from its foundation in Kansas and fell upon the wonderful Land of Oz. Well, his roots in Kansas may not have been ripped away by a tornado, but he did happen to set down next door to two-time state champ and Super 32 winner Nathan Kraisser of Centennial.
And with his newfound homestead, it is no surprise that two-time Kansas state qualifier junior Macon Stanley is now a member of the Centennial wrestling team, and looking to establish himself as a force to be reckoned with in the Maryland wrestling scene.
“I think that I will fit in well,” Stanley said. “I don’t want to be cocky, but I think I could place here at state. I’m not going to say I am going to be a state champ, but working with Nathan has already gotten me better. If it isn’t me, myself getting better, Nathan is going to push me to become better.”
“He is the first kid that we have had in the practice room at [Nathan’s] weight that can push him,” Centennial coach David Roogow said of Stanley. “Nathan would wrestle with kids around his weight and his brother, 30-40 pounds heavier than him, and then his clubs would be where he got a lot of his quality practice partners.
“Honestly, one of the reasons I think [Stanley] chose this school was getting the chance to work with Nathan. He could have gone to River Hill, Wilde Lake or up-and-coming Reservoir, so it was really happy to see him come here.”
Stanley is the first of his family to wrestle in Maryland, seeing two of his older brothers, Keegan and Dalton, place in the top four and three slots in Kansas, respectively.
“I did not place out in Kansas,” Stanley said. “I was a weak, little sissy girl back then,” referring to the size difference he has seen between Kansas and Maryland wrestlers.
“I have noticed that in Kansas there was a lot more brawn, or muscle, but here I have seen a lot more technique,” he continued. “I have never been a muscle guy, as you can see, but I am going to have to focus more on technique, speed and staying focused more than overpowering. Working with Nathan I can tell that the best of md have great technique.”
Always being under his weight and a self-described “scrawny kid”, Stanley says he has been in and out of the weight room to prepare for this 2010-2011 season, growing nearly 20 pounds in this past off-season. “I’m not going to be out-muscled. I might be matched, but I will not be out-muscled.”
Besides the wrestlers’ size, Stanley also has found a difference in the practices between the two states, citing conditioning as dominant part of the Maryland way.
“It is a lot more conditioning than Kansas. Kansas was a lot more intense live wrestling in the room where it would get heated and you would want to die,” Stanley said. “Here, there is a lot of sprints, we didn’t do sprints in Kansas, but here my lungs burn every practice getting back into condition.”
Following his stepfather from Kansas to Maryland, Stanley is in just his third week at Centennial High School, but he has already gotten a feel for the kind of wrestler and teammate his practice partner is in Kraisser.
“I thought he was going to be a lot more cocky. A lot more proving that he is better than me,” Stanley said. “But he has been a lot more laid back and shows me what I am doing wrong, and I told myself I am not going to be to prideful.
“But when we are live, I go as hard as I possibly can and he can do one little thing and I find myself on my back.”
As for the reputation that seems to have preceded him in Maryland, it might not all be factual, but Stanley says he will use it.
“I think that it doesn’t hurt that some people think I am a wrestling god. I have had some people come up to me saying I was a national champ or that I’m a state champ, so I think people not knowing who I am and what I am capable of will give me a leg up,” Stanley admitted. “There will be a little intimidation factor in not knowing who I am, and, the fact that I am going to go as hard as I possibly can, will help me win.”