After winning the WIAA Division 1 220-pound wrestling state championship on a Saturday night, Mukwonago junior Aric Bohn was already in the gym at 6 a.m. the following Monday lifting weights. Bohn wasted little time in his quest to become a better athlete for Mukwonago's football and wrestling teams.
"To be honest, it's pretty much back to normal," Bohn said. "It was really amazing that first night, but I still think there's a lot more work to be done. Getting back into it has been the only thing I'm focusing on."
This season, Bohn shared the Classic 8 Conference Wrestler of the Year award with Arrowhead freshman Keegan O'Toole, who claimed the 120 state crown. Bohn was not necessarily driven by others this year, but by himself.
"I don't really think I tried to prove anybody wrong," Bohn said. "I just wanted to prove myself right."
As a freshman, Bohn weighed just 213 pounds while wrestling at heavyweight. It was certainly a challenge, but one that helped shape Bohn as a wrestler for the next two seasons.
"It made you work a lot harder for some of those matches than what I was used to," Bohn said. "Coming in as an eighth grader, I was kind of stronger than everybody I wrestled. Having to wrestle some of those heavyweights that were a full 250 or 260 definitely motivated me to get even stronger."
Bohn, who stands at 5-7 and "5-7 1/2, 5-8 on a good day," does not stand at the typical height of someone in the 220 weight class.
"I definitely used to struggle with wrestling taller kids when I was younger as a freshman and a sophomore," Bohn said. "I've tried to utilize my height. This year especially, I've used it to my advantage where I know I can always be in a better position in a low stance. I've tried to use it more to benefit me this year."
Bohn finished the season with a 40-7 record.
"I really just like to compete," Bohn said. "I like to compete and I like to see what I can make myself do."
Before football begins later this year, Bohn, who was honorable-mention All Classic 8 as a guard in 2016, will attempt to place for the first time at the national tournament in Fargo, N.D. Bohn has wrestled in both freestyle and Greco Roman in the offseason of high school wrestling.
"There's been some pretty crazy support from everybody back home," Bohn said. "My family is all pretty happy for me. Everybody was excited that night I came home. Walking around school was kind of neat. Everybody congratulated me, all my teachers and everything. It's just nice to know that they're watching and notice the work I've put in."
Recently, Bohn attended a practice for the Mukwonago youth wrestling program.
"It's kind of nuts," Bohn said. "When I was their age, I was looking at the walls in the room and all the state place winners and state champs. Just to know I'm one of those that they now get to look at, it's kind of cool. To see how much they look up to me is really kind of neat, too."
As the season wore on, Bohn's confidence grew, and the possibility of winning a state championship became more real.
"I don't know if before this year I really believed I could have done this," Bohn said. "At the beginning of the year, I wrote it down as my goal. We all write our individual and team goals down at the beginning of the year. My goal was to be a state champ. I don't know if I fully 100 percent believed in it right away, but I knew if I worked hard enough to be a state champ every practice, I could do it. Working hard every day gave me that confidence when I needed it at the end of the year. I did believe and believed fully in that."