Drew Webster was chasing history during his senior wrestling season at North Montgomery.
A loss in the state semifinals prevented him from becoming the Chargers’ first ever state champion, but Websters’ efforts in chasing perfection were nothing short of valiant.
Webster ran his way through the regular season undefeated, repeated as a sectional, regional, and semi-state champion before placing third at 220 pounds at the IHSAA state finals.
He is the 2020 Journal Review Wrestler of the Year for the second straight season.
After placing fifth at 220 as a junior, there was no shortage of motivation for Webster.
“Not being at the top of the podium last year was the biggest chip on my shoulder the whole season,” he said. Also the fact that nobody in school history had won a title nor a perfect season.”
Webster was chasing his brother, Tanner, who placed sixth at the state finals as a junior, and was the runner-up at 170 pounds in 2017 as a senior.
With Tanner’s second-place finish, the only way for Drew to outdo him was to win a state title, but North Montgomery second-year coach Bryce McCoy says Webster’s motivation ran much deeper than family bragging rights.
“He didn’t make it seem that he was motivated to solely “one up” his brother,” McCoy said. “I think the motivation to bring home North Montgomery’s first ever wrestling state title was his biggest motivation.”
Webster says his family overall played the biggest factor in him and his brothers’ athletic accomplishments.
“My family played a huge role in my success with each if us wanting to do better than one another,” he said. My mom has I felt played the biggest role in my athletic career not because of her personally coaching me but being able to see what she was able to accomplish as a coach and to be able to use her words of motivation and pushing everyone to the limit to make them better. I sometimes don’t give enough credit to my brothers but they brought me to practices I would’ve never went to and were always in my corner coaching me and helping me get better each and everytime.”
Tanner is North Montgomery’s all-time wins leader in wrestling with 155 wins, while Drew joined Tanner on a list of just four wrestlers to ever place at the state finals, along with Nick Borta (Class of 2014) and Seth Johnson (Class of 2019), all of which medaled twice. Ty Webster (Class of 2013) was also a state qualifier his senior year. All three Webster brothers were first-team Sagamore Conference selections in football, and collectively combined for 369 wrestling wins.
Websters’ route to a third-place finish in the 2020 state finals didn’t come without controversy and hardship, falling 6-5 to Chesterton’s Evan Bates in the semifinal, despite appearing to have had the match won in the final seconds.
“The loss in the semis was tough but I had to put it behind me cause you win some and you lose some that’s just a part of life and I still had one last match left in my career and nobody was going to stop me,” Webster said about the loss.
His frustration was noticeable as the final horn sounded in the semifinal loss, but his dedication to the sport he loved shined even brighter just a few hours later when he laced up for his final high school wrestling match.
“Drew could not have handled dropping the very controversial semi finals match any better,” McCoy said. “He picked himself up and moved on from it within a couple of hours and was ready for his third/fourth place match like it was any other match he wrestled. I couldn’t be more proud of him and the way he handled losing that match.”
Websters’ football and wrestling careers may be over, but his lasting impact on the North Montgomery athletic community will touch many generations to come.
“Drew definitely solidified himself as one of the best (if not the best) wrestlers to ever step foot on the mat for North Montgomery,” McCoy continued. “I will talk about him for years to come to our future wrestlers about the commitment and effort he put in day after day to reach his goals. He has set the example for all future wrestlers of our program on how they too can reach that level if they just put in the time and effort year after year.”
For years to come, Webster will be able to return to North Montgomery and Charger athletes will look up and say ‘That’s my motivation. That’s why I work hard, to hopefully one day accomplish the same things he did.’
“I feel like I left an impact that will last generations,” Webster said. “I felt that I felt the impact of the group of people before me which help boost the program. I just hope that the future generations understand that my success on the mat and under the light on the football field wasn’t given it was earned. It feels awesome to be told that there are people in life that look up to you but those people have to work hard to reach the top.”
Journal Review All-Area Team
Kalob Brown — Crawfordsville
Isaac Rogers — Crawfordsville
Clayton Owens – Crawfordsville
Eli Oiler — Fountain Central
Austin Pickett — Fountain Central
Baydin Hall — North Montgomery
Dawson McCloud — North Montgomery
Drew Webster — North Montgomery
Noah Benge — Southmont
Kion Cornelius — Southmont
Clayton Downey — Southmont
Dillan Lauy — Southmont
Ty Welliever — Southmont
Riley Woodall — Southmont