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Sophomore proves size doesn`t matter

Ohio State wrestler Robert Sessley Jr., a sophomore from Columbus, was recently chosen as one of the representatives from the Big Ten to battle against wrestlers from the Ukraine in the Big Ten All-Star dual meet on May 23 in University Park, Pa.The all-star meet is a conglomerate of some of the best wrestlers from the Big Ten and Ukraine. OSU coach Russ Hellickson said a committee picks one wrestler from each Big Ten school.”The Big Ten team is probably going to be outmatched,” he said. “It will be a good measure for them.”Sessley’s focus on the all-star meet is keeping it fun, but he definitely has his eyes on winning. “It’s just like extracurricular, it’s an exhibition. They get to come in and get some competition,” Sessley said. “My coach Ron, from Russia, said technique-wise they’re some of the best in the world, but conditioning they might be out of shape. Regardless, I’m not going in to lose.”As odd as it might sound, Sessley, who did not start wrestling until the ninth grade, was lured into the sport by Beechcroft High School’s Wall of Fame. “It had to be fate. It was definitely motivation for me,” Sessley said. “When you come into high school your first time you’re kind of timid and you just start exploring, and I happened to come upon the wall of fame and it was interesting.” Sessley said he chose wrestling because it was hard to play other sports at 97 pounds.He made it onto the wall of fame his freshman year and never looked back. Along with a state title in high school, he has added many other accolades at OSU. In 1999 he was an All-American, finished eighth in the NCAAs, was voted the team’s most valuable player and was voted team captain. Most people would be satisfied with all the honors Sessley has achieved – but not him. “I’m never satisfied. In high school I won the state title and I was disappointed because I didn’t beat the guy bad enough,” he said. Next season Sessley’s goal is to be a national champion, and he would be upset to fall short. He not only wants to be a national champ, but he wants to win in the most dominant fashion.”I just don’t want to go in and win, but I want to go in and win it outright. I want to go into the national finals and blow the guy out; annihilate him.” There are only 10 national champs chosen each year and Sessley would like to be the one everyone recognizes.Hellickson said Sessley is on the right track to become a national champion. “After he became an All-American this is the next step. It’s definitely realistic for him,” Hellickson said. “He has all the tools for being a national champion.”Sessley, who is in his sophomore year of eligibility, was redshirted his freshman year and said it was the biggest disappointment in the world. “I came here to wrestle,” he said. “Like any young kid you feel like you can compete right away. I wanted to perform. I wanted to show what I had.”Sessley said he has always had high expectations and attributes them to the way his parents raised him. “My parents have always been there. They never tried to make me be the best, but they were at all my matches, win or lose. They have been a big component,” he said.Being named team captain was an honor and a surprise, Sessley said, because he never took the initiative to lead. “At times I wanted to say things, but I had nothing to show so I had no right to say anything to anyone,” he said.The team’s goal next year is a top five finish in the Big Ten.”We’re looking to tear it up next year. We have some killers all the way through the line-up,” he said.Sessley’s stumbling upon the wall of fame and choosing wrestling has opened many doors for him. “I have met a lot of interesting people and seen places I probably wouldn’t have seen,” he said. “Wrestling has been good to me. It defines me. It gives me recognition and it’s like a stage for me to express my God-given talents.”According to Sessley, professional wrestlers like Stone Cold Steve Austin and Diamond Dallas Page, in the WWF and WCW are not fresh.”I never watch wrestling. I hate that stuff. OK, maybe I liked it back in the days of the Junk Yard Dog and Hulk Hogan because I was little and it seemed like a show, but I look at it now and they look like clowns out there, like a bunch of muscle-bound dudes acting like fools.”

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