A Legacy Unfinished

By: Jason Kahn Email
By: Jason Kahn Email

Tallahassee - Along one side of Lincoln's mat room, pictures of former greats look on. Even the one of Tristan Sommer, who has yet to graduate, stares at him as he prepares to grapple for a second state title.

"The first one was...the one," he says. "And now it just kind of has to be done again."

No one has ever won two state titles in wrestling in Tallahassee, let alone back-to-back state titles. B.J. Fletcher was the first to be crowned in 1999. Sommer was the second in 2013.

Sommer, a senior, says it was a goal of his since the 6th grade.

"I couldn't believe it for the next couple of days," recalls Sommer, who has received interest from Arizona State, North Carolina State and Appalachian State. "I thought I was still dreamin' in the hotel room. I thought I was gonna wake up one day and still had to wrestle that day."

"I was so pumped when we did it last year," said Mike Crowder, Lincoln's Head Coach, "and I thought about it and I said, 'wow, we might get to do this twice.'"

In Crowder's 19 years as coach at Lincoln, he's seen one state champion. That being Sommer.

The 152-pounder is one of seven Lincoln wrestlers, which ties a school-record, competing in the season's final tournament.

"Just for them to have that guidance and that guy that's been there and see how calm and cool he is at the situation, it's just great for them. It puts them at ease," Crowder said.

While Sommer admits there is pressure to win number two, he says he won't tap out.

"That's just the legacy right there," he said. "The second one just ends it all."

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