Summer gains - Coeur d'Alene Press: Sports

Summer gains

Post Falls' Foster places at two national wrestling events

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Posted: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 12:15 am

Some kids spend their summer vacation running up and down the beaches and floating the rivers.

For soon-to-be sophomore Drake Foster of Post Falls, he hit the wrestling mats.

A lot.

Foster concluded his summer as the national runner-up in Greco-Roman wrestling and sixth in freestyle during nationals in Fargo in July.

"A lot of the older guys there have placed and won national titles," Foster said. "I was just told by my coaches to not be nervous and go out and wrestle my match."

He did that - advancing to the national title match before losing in the Greco-Roman final.

"I was nervous after my first match," Foster said. "But after that - and maybe my final match in Greco - it wasn't any different."

Foster also won the state 5A championship at 106 pounds in February, the first freshman in school history to win a title in his first year in the program.

"It's a lot better caliber of competition at nationals," Foster said. "You get to wrestle the best of the best from each state."

Of the two styles, Foster added that he enjoys Greco more, but that folk style is his favorite.

"I definitely like it more than freestyle," Foster said. "But folk style (or collegiate) is definitely my favorite."

His biggest lesson learned, was that he could compete with anybody - anywhere.

"There's definitely a lot better kids out there," Foster said. "But if I can wrestle my match, I can compete with anyone. I just need to keep training hard."

Even his path to a state title had a bump as Foster lost to Blake Randall of Lewiston in the Region 1 championship match at 106 pounds.

"I was really excited, but at districts, I lost to him," Foster said. "After that, everyone on my team really helped me not get nervous and now I just go to my happy place."

Foster's happy place includes listening to music and trying to play out the match in his head.

"I just start to zone out and think," Foster said. "About if I do this, how's he going to react and just go through the different things that could happen in my head."

At the annual Tri-State tournament last year at North Idaho College, Foster lost by a 6-4 decision to Tristan Moran of Chandler, Ariz.

"I'd never been under the light like that," Foster said. "But it kind of helped at nationals. I wasn't so nervous and had a chance to wrestle that kid (at nationals), but he got beat."

In addition to nationals, Foster also competed in Daytona, Fla., in junior cadet dual matches for Team Idaho and Pocatello for the Western Regionals before going to Fargo.

"He's wrestled 90 percent of the summer," said Drake's father Todd. "He went to camp, cadet duals in Daytona, went to Salt Lake and we drove up so he could wrestle."

During the high school season, Foster isn't sure if he'll wrestle at 113 or 120 pounds.

"I'd like to be at 113, but I don't know if I can make it all season," Foster said.

Foster's goal is to become the school's first Tri-State champion.

"Definitely want to win Rollie Lane (in Nampa) and Tri-State," Foster said. "I'm probably going to be seeded No. 1 a lot this year - and now I've got to go out perform like that."

Foster also plays soccer at Post Falls, with tryouts starting Monday.

"I never really chose wrestling over soccer," Foster said. "One year, I kind of liked wrestling and soccer the other. This was the first year I was all wrestling. But I've definitely have a shot at making the varsity soccer team this fall."

"As far as work ethic and training, Drake never stops," Todd said.

That extends into the classroom, where Foster's grade point average above a 3.0.

"The first semester, I did really good," Foster said. "But in the second semester, I kind of slacked off."

It fell from a 4.0 to a 3.4.

"He's never been in academic trouble whatsoever," Todd said. "Up until this year, he'd been a 4.0 student."

When the time comes in a few years to pick a college - Foster already has his mind on heading east.

"I definitely want to be at a Big Ten school," Foster said.

Chris Owens, an assistant coach at Boise State coached Foster during the cadet duals in Florida.

"Chris is a great guy and a great coach," Todd said. "He's really taken a liking to Drake and does a lot for him."

According to Todd, Owens might want Foster in his future plans at BSU.

"He's well aware of him," Todd said. "And we're aware of them when that time comes."

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