Note to parents: If your youngster is expressing an interest in a sport at a very early age, support them and encourage them to get involved.
Maxx Mayfield was just 3 years old when he tagged along to his older sister’s swimming practice one day at Lincoln Southeast High School. They were walking down the hall when he caught glimpse of the wrestling room.
The young boy liked what he saw. A year later, he joined the Lincoln Squires youth wrestling program. It wasn’t long before the Squires’ coaches knew they were witnessing some special. He wrestled for the Squires from age 4 through grade 3.
As an incoming freshman last year, he brought to the Lincoln East High School team a combination of innate ability and a strong work ethic. Penciled in early on as the Spartans’ 113-pounder, he wrestled his way to the Class A state meet finals before losing the championship match to Omaha Burke senior Joey Harrison.
Team-high 47 wins
Mayfield walked away with a team-high 47 victories, including 22 wins by pin. Three of his four losses last year were to Harrison – who sported a three-year advantage - and the other was to an Iowa wrestler. Throughout the long season, he managed to avoid a loss by pin.
“Maxx has demonstrated a tremendous amount of commitment to the sport and continues to better himself in every facet of his life,” said Jeff Rutledge, co-head coach of the Spartans’ wrestling program.
The dedicated year-round wrestler competed last summer in USA Wrestling's Cadet Freestyle Nationals in Fargo, North Dakota. Going up against some of the best high school wrestlers in the country, he placed fourth place in his weight division and was awarded the prestigious honor of All-American.
One of the rewards for his strong showing last summer was receiving a letter of interest from the wrestling program at the University of Maryland – the first of many he’s likely to receive if he continues to climb the ladder.
Scheduled to compete at 120 pounds this year, the team-oriented standout is excited by what East High can potentially do as a team this season. The Spartans were 11th in the state Class A high school team standings last February and fourth in the state dual-meet competition.
“I think we have the potential to contend for a state team championship this season,” said Mayfield. “We’ve got some talented wrestlers returning and some transfers who could really contribute.”