Washington’s Devon Van Cura narrowly missed out on making the NCHSAA 3-A state meet last season and is on a mission to make it the big stage this year. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

Archived Story

Van Cura a man on a mission

Published 10:30pm Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Wrestling is a sport in which the foundation to succeed is built largely on self-motivation. That should not be a problem for Washington’s Devon Van Cura.
Whenever the Pam Pack junior feels like he might not have his “A” game all he has to do is look back to last season to find some added inspiration.
As a sophomore, Van Cura steamrolled his way through the regular season en route to a Coastal Conference championship in the 152-pound classification.
Van Cura seemed liked a lock to make the state meet until he lost his grip on match in the East Regional, which enabled his season to slip away.
“In one of the early matches in the regional tournament I wrestled a guy who I had wrestled my freshman year and I was beating him the whole match then right at the end of the match he managed to pin me,” Van Cura said.
The loss submarined his shot at getting to state, but it just might fuel an appearance this season.
“I think about it a lot,” Van Cura said. “Every practice I’m thinking about how I was supposed to make it to the state tournament.”
Upon the conclusion of his sophomore season Van Cura went right to work preparing for his return to the mat.
“He’s spent a lot of time going to camps this summer and he actually did cross country to work on his conditioning,” Washington’s seventh-year coach Daniel Riggs said. “He came to all the open gyms. You can see it in his eyes and his attitude that he’s going to make sure it happens this year.”
So far so good, as Van Cura has compiled a 15-3 record this season, winning one tournament and placing second in two others.
“He looks more confident this year in his skill level and ability,” Riggs said.
Riggs felt Van Cura’s ever-increasing confidence is critical in his march toward the state meet.
“He just needs to believe in how good he really is,” Riggs said. “I can keep telling him how good he is and other coaches can keep telling him how good he is, but unless he believes in himself he won’t be able to make it. But as you can see with how he is wrestling this year he starting to believe in what he can do.”

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