Sibling camaraderie

Fosters making the most of time together on Trojans wrestling team

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Cierra Foster pins Nathan Hill to the ground during a Post Falls High School wrestling practice. Last year, Foster was a state placer for Post Falls High School wrestling team.

They're not your ordinary teammates.

Not even close.

But for senior Drake Foster, and his sophomore sister, Cierra, they're making the most of their final moments together on the Post Falls High wrestling team.

"It's great," Cierra said. "Because I know he's always there for me and know he's going to push me harder than even I think I can go. I only got one year with him in middle school, so it's pretty amazing to get two years at the high school level."

As a freshman last year, Cierra was the first female to win a match at the Tri-State tournament.

"It was a pretty exciting moment," Cierra said. "To know that all my hard work and that work I put in with my brothers and teammates, it was good to have it pay off."

Cierra finished third at the state 5A tournament at 106 last year. Drake, a two-time state champion, finished second at 126 pounds.

Drake is back at 126 this year, with Cierra moving up to 113.

Cierra added that she still anxious before matches, no matter if it's against girls or boys.

"It definitely is, and that's also wrestling girls," Cierra said. "I always get nervous right before a match, but I use that energy to wrestle better and not discourage myself."

"I do get nervous for her when she's wrestling a kid that she knows is much stronger than her," Drake said. "I'm kind of nervous that she can get hurt easier wrestling guys, but also nervous for them because she's out there to compete."

Drake will continue his wrestling career at the University of Wyoming next year.

"Personally, for me, the coaches were in contact with me throughout the entire recruiting process," Drake said. "Boise State was recruiting me hard, and I love (BSU assistant coach) Chris Owens. He taught me to train a bunch, but I wanted something new and wanted to get out of Idaho for a bit and see a different place. I like the coaching staff at Wyoming a lot."

"Wyoming spent a lot of time recruiting him," Post Falls High coach Pete Reardon said. "He's a great character guy and I'm going to be sad to see him go. We're blessed with some great kids, great leaders and have great families, and his parents are super supportive and Drake wants to do right by the team and help them out. And those kind of kids make a difference in your program. We're fortunate to have some underclassmen, but Drake, Seth (McLeod, who has signed with Boise State) and Cierra are unique kids."

Cierra, listed at 120 pounds, is wrestling at 113 this year. To cut weight, she'll show up early and do addition workouts with her brother.

"I didn't really want to do it, but my parents talked me into it," said Drake of the early morning workouts. "They said 'you've got one year left with her, and she looks up to you.' That kind of put things into perspective and I really want to see her succeed. I think she could place at 120 again this year, but I think going to 113 will be good for her because she won't get as drained energy-wise."

Both Drake and Cierra have been active in club wrestling for Team Real Life Ministries over the years, with Cierra winning the Cadet folkstyle and Greco-Roman national championship last year, and finishing runner-up in juniors in both.

"It's definitely a hard sport," Cierra said. "It's a lot of training. I go from the high school season to working with my club team in training for nationals. I'm constantly working for that national title."

With Team Real Life, Cierra got a chance that she couldn't find anywhere else.

"When I was younger, and decided that I wanted to wrestle, clubs wouldn't let girls wrestle," Cierra said. "So I had to find a club that would let me wrestle, and Real Life accepted me and let me practice, then I won my first tournament and have been with them ever since. It kind of opened the gate, and now we've got several girls that wrestle for us. I just love seeing the girls get a chance to wrestle and continuing to get better."

"She's a really tough kid," Reardon said. "She works her butt off, just like any of the other kids do in the wrestling room - and that means something with the group we've had. Her wrestling against the boys, that just makes her just as tough. She'd like to compete against the girls in high school, but doesn't have that luxury in this state. She's really gotten better and improved, and I'm proud of her."

Drake said its possible for him to wrestle up to 150 matches a year, depending on if he travels to Fargo, N.D., for junior nationals. No matter the total, he still enjoys competing.

"Practices do kind of burn you out unless you switch it up," Drake said. "During the summer, it's better because our coaches switch up practices a little bit and we're not practicing each day. You're not going to get burned out that way."

Before matches, the two will sometimes pray with each other.

"Sometimes I'll warm up her shoulder or ribs to help her get ready for the match," Drake said. "I'll just tell her to go out and wrestle her match and what's she's doing the best. If she's got a tough opponent, I'll remind her of what she does well and what she can do to counter that."

To break things up, both Drake and Cierra play soccer - something they've done their entire lives.

"Honestly, I love playing soccer," Cierra said. "I've played it since I was little. It's something that's always been a part of me and gives me a little bit of a break from wrestling and then I'm ready to get back into wrestling."

Drake was a sophomore on the Trojans' 2012 state 5A championship soccer team.

"I didn't make a choice on whether to pursue either soccer or wrestling in eighth grade," Drake said. "With wrestling, opportunities like making the national team in seventh grade kind of sparked things that way. I've been playing soccer since I was six, and was the Defensive Player of the Year in the (5A Inland Empire League)."

With that extra running during matches, Drake added it gives him a slight advantage when it comes time for wrestling season.

"It does help to get a break from wrestling, but I really enjoy that team atmosphere," Drake said. "When I come from soccer season into wrestling, I'm in a little better shape than most."

For both Drake and Cierra, wrestling consumes their lives, competing in tournaments almost every weekend during the summer, but both also take the time to step away from the mat to relax.

"Wrestling is a big part of my life," Drake said. "But so is hanging out with my friends. Soccer is also and doing anything outdoors."

"I just really enjoy hanging out with my family," Cierra said. "We'll go to the movies every once in a while and a lot of the time, we'll just go somewhere and have fun."

"She loves reading books," said Drake of Cierra. "She'll watch sci-fi (science fiction) movies and read mythology books. She's kind of a bookworm, and it's kind of weird to see her go from wrestling to that."

With her brother moving on next year, Cierra knows that it's up to her where her career goes from here.

"I'm going to have to do it myself," Cierra said. "And I'm OK with that because I've got the team behind me and the other guys in the wrestling room behind me to help me be successful."

Drake Foster practices a leg hold against T.J. Wolf during a Post Falls High School wrestling practice. Foster is a returning state placer to the Post Falls wrestling team.

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