Troy Athens junior Andrew Yan is ready to compete at the D-1 individual state finals

By: Timothy Pontzer | Troy Times | Published February 28, 2017

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TROY — Only seven victories short of 100 career wins, Troy Athens junior Andrew Yan has already accomplished a very successful wrestling career with the Red Hawks. 

One of Yan’s biggest goals will be checked off as he heads to The Palace of Auburn Hills for the individual wrestling state finals March 2-4, competing in the 189-pound weight class in Division 1.

“Last season I was hoping to make it to regionals, but I lost in the first round of districts, so that was very disappointing,” Yan said. “That motivated me a lot this season, and my goal from the beginning of the year was to make it to states.”

With his ticket punched, Yan is looking to do more than simply enjoy the experience. He’s heading into the finals with a 46-6 mark.

“So far I have achieved everything I wanted this season individually, but now I want to place,” Yan said, hoping to finish with a top eight spot in his group to earn All-State honors. “I really feel that I have a good chance to do it. With all the work I’ve put in, I’m very confident.”

Athens coach Matt Rawlik praised Yan, calling the team captain a tremendous leader for the Red Hawks.

“I’ve always been impressed by his work ethic; he never takes a day off,” Rawlik said. “His approach has definitely paid off. He has great stamina. You can see that in his matches as well as his overall record, with over 50 matches this season.”

Now in his third year on varsity, Yan enjoys the leadership role.

“It’s always nice to be asked to be a captain, and I really like leading the team,” Yan said. “I enjoy being around my teammates, and I try to lead by example. I always think that actions speak louder than words, so I go hard in every practice and match. When I know that guys are looking up to me, I never want to take a day off.”

Yan has also served as a linebacker for the Athens football team the last three seasons and serves as an outside center for the Troy United rugby club.

“Both football and rugby have really helped me in wrestling,” Yan said. “The one-on-one tackling in both really helps, and the conditioning helps to prepare me for a long season.”

A champion of his district this season and the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division winner last year, Yan believes his biggest strength to be neutral position, where both wrestlers are standing.

 

“At neutral, he is one of the absolute best in his weight class,” Rawlik said. “He has really developed his skills there to where he is really tough to beat. I think he has the chance to surprise some people at The Palace.”

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