Massey overcomes twists of fate

first_imgBlossoming into one of Wisconsin’s most consistent wrestlers, heavyweight Kyle Massey appeared to have it made. But with two awkward twists, his massive world came crashing down.After beginning 10-0 in what looked to be a breakout season last year as a redshirt freshman, Massey suffered a knee injury.”I tore some stuff in my right knee first,” Massey said. “It wasn’t too bad though. I did some rehab on it right away and decided that I was able to keep wrestling with a brace.”Massey continued to wrestle, but when he tried to take to the mat in his next dual, he shredded his other knee.”The first match back with a brace was a fluke,” he said. “My left knee gave out, and it tore in basically the same spot.”The prognosis: Massey had two torn ACLs and would need surgery. His season that started with so much promise was over.Instead of hanging his head and griping over what could have been, Massey began working on rehabbing his left knee while preparing for surgery on his right.”I had my surgery on my right knee first in February and surgery on my left in May,” Massey said. “I started rehabbing right away and worked all summer. By the time preseason workouts started in September, I was ready to hit the mat, just not at the same form I was before I got hurt.”Even before coming to Madison, Massey was a winner. At Champlin Park High School in Champlin, Minn., the now-UW sophomore won state titles in both his junior and senior years, finishing the two seasons undefeated. Of this 203 career high school wins, 156 ended in Massey pins.”Kyle comes from a wrestling family,” head coach Barry Davis said. “His older brother came here, so we kind of knew about Kyle too.”In fact, Massey’s decision to come to Wisconsin somewhat hinged on the fact that his brother already went here.”I had a feeling I wanted to come here when my brother Jared did his official visit my junior year of high school,” Massey said. “But I didn’t really decide on it until wrestling season my senior year. There was a part of me that wanted to go to a school where I could do football and wrestling.”But before deciding on UW, Massey looked into a couple of Division 1AA schools, where athletes are able to participate in both football and wrestling. One of his friends went to North Dakota State and was trying to get Massey to join him there.Massey ultimately decided on pursuing wrestling and made Wisconsin his school of choice. Although he had the option of going to Minnesota, one of the nation’s best wrestling programs, Massey said he wanted to get out of his home state and find something new.”After thinking about it, I knew wrestling was the way to go,” Massey said. “Once I decided that, I knew that I wanted to come here to Wisconsin.”Coming here and seeing the campus, and the way the coaches recruited me, really made my decision easy to come here.”Now in his third year with the program and second year of eligibility, a healthy Massey has high hopes for himself.”My goal when I came here was and still is to be an All-American,” Massey said. “Hopefully all the work I’ve been doing to get my knees back to strength will help me get on the podium in a few weeks.”While it’s a big goal, Massey is a big guy who can handle the load. And his recent improved play is certainly a step in the right direction. Massey has won his last three matches for the cardinal and white to even his Big Ten duals record at 3-3 with two duals left. He hopes that his current streak will keep on rolling into the upcoming Big Ten and NCAA tournaments.With improved strength in both his legs and game, Massey’s world is slowly being pieced back together.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *