Winning an individual state wrestling title generally helps with exposure.
At least that’s been the case for Peninsula High senior wrestler Chance Stolz, who has rode the momentum from his recent 195-pound Class 3A title to a scholarship and a spot on the Arizona State University wrestling team.
Stolz recently made his commitment while on an official visit to ASU earlier in April. He will sign his National Letter of Intent next week.
“It’s nice to have that weight off my shoulders,” Stolz said. “It’s nice to get recognized. I’m looking forward to it.”
Stolz finished his senior season with a 41-1 record, and compiled an 80-2 record over the past two seasons. But he knows that won’t mean much in the Pac-12 conference.
“All that is kind of nothing anymore,” Stolz said. “Everyone has done that at (the high school) level. There wasn’t anyone that wasn’t a (high school) state champ when I was on my visit.”
Stolz said he was impressed by the coaching staff. ASU’s head coach is Zeke Jones, who boasts an Olympic silver medal in his resume.
“The coaching staff is incredible,” Stolz said. “They’re going to be able to help me accomplish all my goals.”
Among those goals are winning a Pac-12 title and perhaps one day, an NCAA championship.
“I know that sounds like a long shot, but I don’t see why it couldn’t be a possibility,” Stolz said.
Stolz said that some big-time programs neglect academics in favor of winning on the mat. But that’s not the case at ASU.
“You meet with an academic coach once or twice a week, have daily study hall,” Stolz said. “They really care about the success of the student. Wrestling can take you far in life, but in the end, you’re going to have to do something else in life.”
Stolz plans to study sports and media marketing at ASU.
“I’m excited to grow up and do things on my own,” Stolz said. “Wrestling will help with that. Wrestling has helped developed me as a man and a person.”
He’s excited to represent Peninsula High School and the Gig Harbor community at the next level, he said. And most of all, Stolz is proud of the legacy he leaves at Peninsula.
“I just want to be able to go out and make the hometown proud,” Stolz said. “I want people to look at my name on the board and say, ‘That kid used to go here.’ Years from now, when I’m done and gone, my name will still be on that wall in that wrestling room. It’s an inspiration seeing those names on the board. Now going onto college, hopefully I make a bigger name for myself and the community of wrestling.”