Jaguars Student Spotlight: Katayen Gardner-Wrestling
By Murray Gleffe, Correspondent
Name: Katayen Gardner
Katayen Gardner sought out Wrestling Head Coach Jody VanLaanen last year in an effort to stay active during the long cold Wisconsin winters. He wanted to be part of a WIAA sport versus just lifting weights.
Last year as a Junior, Gardner only wrestled in half of the matches due to injury, and the learning curve it takes to participate at the varsity level.
In 2017-18, Gardner is the lone Senior Jaguar wrestler on a team made up of primarily underclassmen.
He has solidified himself at the 285 lb. classification and has held his own with wrestlers that have been at their sport a lot longer than him.
He picked up his first victory of the season at the Kimberly Invite.
At the prestigious Oshkosh on the Water wrestling invite, Gardner started the day with a victory over Chippewa Falls, and then picked up a huge win over Stevens Point in a decision.
Then, just this past weekend in Grafton, he produced his best result in a Jaguars wrestling uniform.
Gardner won his first four matches of the day against Mequon Homestead, Grafton, Racine Case and Wausau East enabling the Jaguars to go on and capture the title.
He has over 15 victories on the season with Regionals and Sectionals just around the corner!
What is it like to be a leader on the Ashwaubenon wrestling team? “Being a leader on the wrestling team is probably one of the most satisfying things I’ve had the privilege of doing. All of the freshman respect me and I treat them all like little brothers because they’re my family.”
What is your most embarrassing moment ever in wrestling? “My most embarrassing moment is when I was winning a match 7 to 1 and I ended up getting pinned.”
How many years have you been involved in wrestling? “This is my second-year wrestling.”
What is your most memorable moment in wrestling? “The first win I ever got is probably one of my most memorable moments. The feeling right after is special when the official raises your hand, and you know you helped your team out with points.”
What’s the hardest part about wrestling? “The hardest part about wrestling is probably how much conditioning we have to do.”
If you could be somebody for a day, who would it be? “If I could be anyone for a day I would want to be Julius Peppers because he’s my favorite player in the NFL and I base my style off his.”
What are your college aspirations? “I just want to get a degree and start working.”
What would your dream job be once you graduate? “My dream job would be to play in the NFL but that is unlikely to happen!”
What are your hobbies? “My hobbies include reading, playing Xbox, and participating in the various amounts of sports that I love.”
What is your favorite sporting event ever attended? “My favorite sporting event would be any Packer football game that I’ve gone to through the years.”
What is your favorite type of music? “I don’t really have a favorite type of music, but I’ll listen to just about anything except country.”
What is your favorite thing to do on your phone? “My favorite thing to do on my phone is read.”
What three words describe you? “Goofy, hardworking, faithful”
What is your favorite trip ever taken? “My favorite trip ever taken is when I went to Germany. I loved it there because everything was so beautiful. I wanted to stay forever.”
Rick and Morty
Julius Peppers/Russell Westbrook
Cookies and Cream
Comments on Katayen Gardner: “Katayen is a fun kid to coach,” said VanLaanen. “He is new to the sport and each and every day is a new learning experience for him. He is strong, athletic, and has definitely helped us out at the higher classifications this year.”