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Barrington 11/23/12 Lake Zurich's Gresh Henderson, checks with the coach while wrestling Marion Academy. | Michelle LaVigne ~ Sun-Times Media
When Gresh Henderson moved from Colorado to Lake Zurich as a high school sophomore two years ago, he walked into the Bears’ wrestling room with a grin on his face and a relentlessly positive mindset.
Now a senior coming off a 29-9 record last season, Henderson hasn’t changed a bit.
“I have never seen that kid have a bad attitude,” Lake Zurich coach Dan Strickler said. “He has never had a day where he’s not smiling, or where he walks into practice and says ‘I don’t really feel like it.’ He’s always ready to do more, every single day.”
Henderson began wrestling in Colorado in fourth grade and had to adjust to Illinois’ particular wrestling style. But he always had the right approach to the brutally demanding nature of the sport.
“You have to be mentally tough, and you have to be at your physical peak,” Henderson said. “It’s grueling. You have to dig deep.
“But wrestling is a lot different here. In Colorado, it’s more about controlling top-bottom, and here it’s a lot more on your feet. At first, I had some trouble adjusting. But I’ve put in a lot of practice, and now I feel good on my feet.”
Henderson placed fifth at 132 pounds at Saturday’s 28-team Moore-Prettyman Invitational in Barrington. He went 3-2 at the two-day event, capping his weekend with a 8-3 decision for fifth over Oswego’s Nick Schultz.
Henderson’s big match in the tournament came in the semifinals against former state champion and two-time state medal winner George Fisher of Marmion. Henderson lost 6-4 in the closest match that the eventual-champion Fisher wrestled in the tournament.
“He was toe-to-toe with (Fisher) and just didn’t come out on top in points,” Strickler said. “With a kid like (Henderson), I don’t even need to be in the corner for his matches. The kid just has a great sense of what he has to do.”