Trotter recently attained the milestone of 100 career pins during the Seneca Invitational the weekend of January 25 and became the third wrestler in school history to do so. With 106 pins and counting to his credit, he is currently on track to break the school record of 108 set by 2017 graduate Willie Schotte.

Versailles senior Michael Trotter does not like to waste much time on the mat. 

The quickest way to end any match is with a pin and the senior has made a habit of earning his fair share of them over the course of his career as a Tiger. Trotter recently attained the milestone of 100 career pins during the Seneca Invitational the weekend of January 25 and became the third wrestler in school history to do so. With 106 pins and counting to his credit, he is currently on track to break the school record of 108 set by 2017 graduate Willie Schotte.

Not a bad way to achieve your goal.

“Just going out there it is you and your opponent. Any other sport it is a team effort, but going out there it has to be just you,” Trotter said of the sport. “It is nerve-wracking, but an amazing experience all at the same time.” 

Well, Trotter has certainly found a way to ease his nerves, making those experiences enjoyable more times than not. Versailles coach Shawn Brantley said pinning opponents has been part of the wrestler’s repertoire from the start. Describing the senior as a “roly poly” when he first walked through the door, Trotter only has one idea in mind when he steps on the mat.

“It is just Michael’s style, he is a pinner,” Brantley stated. “Some kids are not and just want to win by decision or something and he wants to put you away and get off the mat. Sometimes he has fought us a little bit on maybe ‘playing with his food’ before he just eats it. You can pin some people too fast not getting enough mat time, but he is only the third kid in school history to go get 100 pins. It was not very long ago that 100 wins was unheard of at Versailles so 100 pins is huge. He should end up with the school pins record, is going to be in the top five in wins and has had a remarkable career.

“We hope he ends it the right way here in the next two weeks.”

Trotter’s final district tournament is fast approaching and he will be looking to reach the Class 1 state tournament for a third straight year after placing fifth the past two seasons. Just like any match, Trotter said the key is just having confidence. It is that confidence that has led him to rack up 135 career wins, which is the fourth most in program history behind Schotte and 2016 graduates Dylan Ballew and Dalton Schmidt.

“When you go out there you have to think about everything before you do it. You have to know what you are going to go out there and do and you cannot go in scared like I do a lot of the time,” the senior said jokingly. “You have to go out there, think you are going to dominate the mat and you will.

“My sophomore year I pinned a kid that was supposed to get first at state in 27 seconds at the state tournament and that was probably one of the best moments of my career.”

It is not just confidence, though, that helps him succeed. Brantley has noticed plenty of growth from the wrestler the past four years and just how much his arsenal has developed. 

“Leaps and bounds,” the coach said of Trotter’s progression. “I could not even begin to say how much it has improved. He went from a kid that was a power wrestler, for lack of a better way to put it, to a kid that has developed some pretty good techniques, can do different things and put you away in different moves now.”

It is an example Brantley said other wrestlers would do well to take note of.

“To watch the work he has put in the last four years and how he has gone from kind of a ‘Meathead’ to kind of a technical guy now, when you can put those two things together you can do some pretty special things and I think he has proven that,” the coach remarked. 

Racking up 100 career pins is certainly one of them and looking back at it all, it is not something Trotter takes lightly.

“It means so much because looking back as a kid, you see the people that have done great things and compare yourself to them,” he said. “At the time as a kid, you don’t ever think you’ll make it that far. Whenever you do, it is just amazing to be able to put yourself up there to people you used to look up to.”

Brantley said individual feats have never been an emphasis in the program, trying to keep everything team-oriented, but wrestlers are definitely aware of the bars that have been set before them and achieving any milestone is worth celebrating in the tradition and environment the program has built.

“All the guys that set these records are very supportive of the ones chasing them,” the coach said. “Records are meant to be broken, and I think they look at it as a sign of the program being in good shape and want to see the kids coming through now be better than they were.”

For any wrestler who has high aspirations, Trotter advises them to not take anything for granted.

“Don’t waste any time,” the senior pointed out. “This year I’ve opened up a lot more than I have any other year, excelling a lot more. So, don’t waste time going to the practice room every single day and try as hard as you can or you’ll regret it.”

As someone who tries not to waste any time on the mat, it may be sound advice to follow.