One last shot

Arlt and Pilkington have eyes on state wrestling podium

Senior Trevin Arlt poses with a medal from a tournament during the summer. Coming into his last season, Arlt is ranked fifth in Class C at 132 pound weight class. (Courtesy photo)

As wrestling season approaches, seniors Janson Pilkington and Trevin Arlt consider what will be their “last shot” to place at the state tournament. 

Last year, Pilkington just fell short of placing by losing in the heartbreak round. Coming so close to his goal has brought motivation for Pilkington’s last season.

“Just knowing that I had a good season last year and I made it to heartbreaks at state just pushes me more to win a medal this year,” Pilkington said. “It’s kind of just like my last shot.”

Arlt went 1-2 at state, with one of his losses to the eventual state champ, so he hopes to go further this year. 

“Last year wasn’t the way I wanted it (the season) to end,” Arlt said. “This year I’ve been training a lot harder, and I hope to end my high school career with a medal.”

Having big goals in mind, both wrestlers have worked in the off-season to improve by attending practices, camps and workouts.

“Just being [able] to perfect moves and learn new content was beneficial,” Pilkington said. 

Pilkington also found that not participating in a fall sport left more time in the off-season to focus on wrestling.

“If you’re wrestling year-round, you’re going to keep getting better,” Pilkington said. “There’s more time to get better than just during the season.”

Arlt, who also didn’t do a fall sport, agreed that the extra training helped him improve his skills. 

“It made me a lot better technician…and knowing my position,” Arlt said. “It’s made me a lot stronger, faster…and just a better athlete.”

Much of what the boys did in the off-season they did together. Having a teammate like Arlt to push him has kept Pilkington motivated.

Senior Janson Pilkington looks for a takedown against his opponent at the 2022 Yutan Invite. One of Pilkington’s goals this year is to achieve 100 wins. “I got 21 wins away from 100 wins,” Pilkington said. (Heidi Krajicek)

“He pushes me every day and makes sure I’m doing everything right,” Pilkington said. “Having someone to fuel your fire is really good because it keeps you motivated to do better.”

Wrestling has created a tight bond between the two, which shows during competitions as well. 

“We’re always supporting each other. If he’s up [to wrestle] I’m always watching him,” Arlt said. “When I’m up, he’s always watching me, and we’re always cheering for each other.”

Because both boys share a love for wrestling, they’ve considered taking it even further to wrestling at the collegiate


“Both Midland coaches have talked to both of us,” Pilkington said. “Maybe I might wrestle with him at Midland in college, but we’ll see.”

While they don’t know what their future holds, the boys know for certain that they’ll miss the relationships and memories wrestling has brought them.

“It’s very sad that we’ve done this for a while together now and that it’s all coming to an end,” Arlt said. “We’ve had a lot of great memories together off and on the mat.”