Issaquah Eagles senior 152/160 pound wrestler Cal Saper, who was an alternate at the Mat Classic Class 4A state tournament as a junior, is determined to place at the state tourney in his weight division at the Mat Classic during his final year of high school wrestling. Shaun Scott, staff photo

Issaquah Eagles senior 152/160 pound wrestler Cal Saper, who was an alternate at the Mat Classic Class 4A state tournament as a junior, is determined to place at the state tourney in his weight division at the Mat Classic during his final year of high school wrestling. Shaun Scott, staff photo

Seizing control on the wrestling mat

Issaquah Eagles senior grappler Cal Saper is determined to compete at the Mat Classic.

Being agonizingly close to realizing a goal is undoubtedly one of the most motivating experiences for an athlete to encounter.

Issaquah Eagles senior wrestler Cal Saper knows the feeling better than most.

During his junior year on the wrestling mat throughout the 2017-18 season, Saper was an alternate to the Mat Classic Class 4A state tournament in the 145-pound weight division. He made the trek to the Tacoma Dome for the tournament. He weighed in the day before the tournament began but he didn’t get to wrestle under the bright lights of the Tacoma Dome.

“It was very tough. I wasn’t at the top of my game (at regional tournament). I have been focused on bouncing back and improving very much so,” Saper said.

Saper, who is currently competing in the 160-pound weight class, said he could potentially drop down to the 152-pound weight division before postseason tournaments begin in February. The 152-pound and 160-pound weight divisions are known to possess many of the best all-around athletes on the mat with a wide array of different body types for competitors to deal with.

“You just have to assess them before your match. You have to make sure you can maintain no matter if the guy is taller or short and stout,” Saper explained. “You got to be able to control the tide at all points.”

Saper possesses a specific mode of operation and approach in every match but isn’t afraid to roll the dice if problems arise during a matchup.

“I have my set moves for when I’m in neutral, top and bottom positions that I stick to. If they’re not working, I just scramble through to something else. I just never stop wrestling,” Saper said. “My goal is to place at state. It is my senior year and I will just go all out and put it all on the line every match.”

Recently the Issaquah Reporter had an opportunity to ask Saper some questions about his life away from the wrestling mat.

Issaquah Reporter: What is your favorite restaurant in Issaquah?

Cal Saper: The Ram. They always have good portions and great servers.

IR: What is your dream vacation spot?

CS: The Caribbean Islands. I heard it has really good clear warm water. You can go scuba diving and snorkeling.

IR: If you could pick one person to go to dinner with, who would it be?

CS: Muhammad Ali. He is one of the greats. He had so much more to him than just athleticism. Everything he said about politics, religion with his mindset, mentality and work ethic, it’s all there.

IR: What kind of music are you listening to the most in your car right now?

CS: I like to listen to rap music and sometimes I also listen to the oldies from the 1970s and 1980s.

IR: Where do you see yourself in five years?

CS: I will be graduating from college. I will be studying engineering in college and my minor will be videography.

More in Sports

Issaquah Rookie youth football team’s dominant season ends in championship win

The Issaquah Rookie youth football team earned the first championship for the… Continue reading

Eagles open up the new basketball season against Islanders

Issaquah girls basketball cruises to a 60-14 win, boys team falls short in 62-54 loss.

Issaquah basketball teams ready to tip off

There is plenty of excitement for the Eagles as they embark on their new seasons.

Issaquah Sophomore Gold Youth football team wins championship

The Issaquah Sophomore Gold Youth football team capped off a perfect 10-0… Continue reading

Issaquah swim and dive team places third at state

The Issaquah swim and dive team finished third at the 4A state… Continue reading

Issaquah beats Mount Si in a nail-biter

Eagles advance to 4A state tournament.

Issaquah volleyball moves on in district tournament with win over Newport

The Eagles will face the Bothell Cougars in another loser-out game on Nov. 14.

Issaquah’s David-Smith wins 4A state cross-country meet

Heninger placed 46th and Hanson took 49th at the meet on Nov. 9.

Football results: Week 10

Following are the prep football results from Nov. 7-8 for the teams… Continue reading

Issaquah volleyball players earn all-league honors

Eagles compete in district tournament.

Two Eagles soccer players receive all-league honors

Issaquah senior defender Riley Larsen and junior midfielder Jaden Humbyrd both received… Continue reading

Issaquah season ends with 42-25 KingCo football playoff loss to North Creek

Eagles find success in first year under head coach Joshua Brookshire.