Cash Continues Journey To Reach Goals

 

A journey from the T-Town mats to the D1 mats. Former Tecumseh Savage standout Gunner Cash is still wrestling and is now headed to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to continue his career.

Gunner graduated from Tecumseh in 2017 and was a three-sport star while in high school. Besides wrestling, he was a four-year starter for the Savage football team and threw the shotput for the track and field squad.

He was third in the shotput at the State Track Meet his senior year after sitting out of the sport for two years. Gunner was named All-State in football his senior year as well as being named a Fellowship of Christian Athletes All-Stater.

Gunner was really good at the sports he participated in, but his heart was on the wrestling mat. He took third place at the State Tournament his junior year when he wrestled at 220 and was also third in the Regional Tournament that season.

His senior year, wrestling at heavyweight, he was Regional Champion and made it all the way to the championship bout of the State Tournament and finished as State runner-up in an extremely close match. Due to a clerical oversight, he just missed being named All-State in wrestling his senior year.


Also, while in high school, after the regular wrestling season was over, he competed in Freestyle and Greco Wrestling. He was named to the National Freestyle and Greco Team and was a State and National Champion in Freestyle at 220.

Gunner had several wrestling offers coming out of high school and he ended up going to Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa, a school well known for its success in wrestling with several national championships. He wrestled as a heavyweight and was named an All-American his sophomore year where the team finished third in the nation and Gunner was eighth nationally as an individual.

When asked about his decision to go to Iowa Central, he had several reasons to head north and far away from home. “I went on a visit there and I really liked the coaches and I liked the discipline in the program. I wanted to go away from home to mature and grow up some. Also, my goal was always to go to a D1 school and I figured that going to a juco would help me achieve my goal of eventually going D1. I thought that it would give me the discipline I needed to make it to the next level.

“I’m just really thankful for the time I spent at Iowa Central,” Gunner said. “It’s just great going somewhere that everyone has the same goals. I really wanted to go D1 out of high school, but Iowa Central prepared me to make it to D1.”


And now he is on his way to Arkansas Little Rock (ALR) to fulfill his goal, as well as getting back a little closer to home. He’s gone from being a Savage to a Triton at Iowa Central and now he’ll complete his career as a Trojan at ALR.

He considered some other schools, including a couple of home state schools as the University of Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University were high on the list, but ALR seemed to be the best fit and met his goal as a D1 institution.

“I really wanted to wrestle D1,” Gunner said, “but after nationals I started looking at smaller schools because I underperformed in the national tournament, I thought and wasn’t sure I could really go D1. But I took a visit to ALR on spring break and I really liked the school and I liked the coach. He gave me the confidence that I could still go D1 when I talked to him. It was also closer to home which was important to me.”

Gunner is thankful for the opportunity to live his dream and he also is aware that he didn’t take this journey alone and had several people on his list to thank.

“Of course, I want to thank my parents for supporting me and always being there for me and supporting my decision to go so far away from home to go wrestle in college and get the experience I needed. It wasn’t easy for them to send me to Iowa, but they let me do it and it worked out great.


“I also want to thank Coach Jason McPhail, my coach in high school. McPhail (now the head wrestling coach at Bethel) was there any time I needed a wrestling partner or a place to wrestle. He was there for me in the recruiting process and asked college coaches to come and watch me wrestle and contacted the Iowa Central coaches about me. I was looking at another school in Iowa that didn’t have the pedigree that Iowa Central had and he (McPhail) went and found the Iowa Central coaches and made them come watch me wrestle during freestyle season and I committed there the next week.

“I also want to thank my coaches at Iowa Central, Head Coach Luke Moffet and assistants Troy Bennett and Kolten Kersten. These coaches really made me disciplined. Going from Tecumseh wrestling to Iowa Central where they have about 10 national titles — they made me better and a lot tougher.

“I thankful for Mike Brown (past heavyweight at the University of Oklahoma) who became my wrestling partner in high school and got me prepped for college wrestling and got me connections with college coaches. He essentially taught me how to wrestle as a heavyweight.”

Gunner didn’t forget his brothers at home. “I’m also thankful for my younger brothers. Jake went with me on every recruiting trip and wrestling trip, we did it all together. Dawson and Logan, my younger brothers, were always supporting me along the way.”

 

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