by Peyton Wesner
Cody Goodman has had this dream since he can remember.
The dream involves him, a senior at Deerfield High School, standing atop the podium at the IHSA wrestling state finals.
It’s a vision many high school wrestlers have, yet only a few accomplish.
“The state tournament, you got to love it,” said Deerfield wrestling head coach Marc Pechter. “It’s not only the joy of success. There are a lot of kids crying down here because they lost. They put everything into it and it didn’t end up the way they wanted.”
The thrill of victory and agony of defeat affects many in amateur wrestling and combat sports. However, after one of the biggest matches of his life, Goodman was stoic and looking forward to the future. A future that entails a college wrestling career at the University of Illinois and opportunities at an NCAA national championship.
“I still got five more years of wrestling ahead of me,” said Goodman, who lost a decision in the 195-pound 2A championship. “I’m going to use this crappy experience to propel myself forward and learn from the regrets.
“I want to be a national champion, so I know I’m in good hands with leaders like the Braunagel bros.”
Goodman will graduate high school with a long list of accomplishments. His 53-2 senior season record set a new mark for the most single-season victories at Deerfield. Plus, Goodman broke a pin record for his weight class.
“Cody’s place in Deerfield wrestling is a special one,” said Pechter. “ He’s at the top of the mountain right now.”
Goodman has devoted his life to wrestling, starting at the age of four. Thus, the Fighting Illini commit is a living testament to the lifetime commitment required to be a wrestling champion.
“There’s way, way higher goals that can be reached,” said Goodman. “I can only imagine what winning state would have felt like but imagine what winning an NCAA title would feel like. That’s exciting to me that there’s a way, way bigger opportunity right ahead of me.”