Fishers High School senior Mitch Sliga is the 2013 Indianapolis Star Super Team Wrestler of the Year after capping a dominating two-year run at 195 pounds with his second-straight state title.
Sliga finished his career 178-4, including 99 consecutive to end his career. He pinned or had a technical fall against every opponent he faced this season except one -- Bloomington South's Clayton Fiddler, who he beat 13-4. He has also won four national titles.
Headed to Northwestern to wrestle, Sliga talked with the Star about his season, his career and his future.
Question: Were you surprised that you had just one full match this year? Did you expect to come out and pin or tech fall every opponent you faced?
Answer: After I finished up the way I did last year (three pins and one major decision in four state finals matches), I thought I could come out and dominate. But I was sort of surprised how easy it was for me sometimes.
Q: In the state semifinals, you wrestled Fiddler, who was 46-0 at the time and would have been a favorite to win a state title any other year. Was there ever any thought in your mind you would lose to him?
A: I knew that if I went out and did my best, then I'd beat him. But there's always a chance you can lose on a freak throw or something like that.
Q: You came out and pinned (finals opponent South Bend Clay's) Jaylin Allen in 31 seconds. Was the plan the close things with a pin?
A: It wasn't my original plan. I just wanted to go out and wrestle my match. I wasn't going for a pin, but when I saw the opportunity, I took it.
Q: What was it like for you during the championship-round introductions when the announcer referred to you as one of the best in your weight class in a long time?
A: During the match I didn't really hear it, but I watched it a few days ago. It was pretty awesome to be recognized as that. That was my goal.
Q: How much did your semifinal losses your freshman and sophomore years motivate you over the past two seasons?
A: They were always there for me, both last season and this one. I knew I didn't want that to happen again, so I held onto it.
Q: Are you holding out hope that they're going to reverse the decision of dropping wrestling from the Olympics?
A: I think they will overturn that decision because the reaction from the wrestling community has been tremendous. I hope they do that quickly. It's my goal to be wrestling in the Olympics in 2020.
LINK TO MOBILE GALLERY: Wrestling Super Team.