(KMAland) -- Marcus Cave’s redemption story has landed him the first KMAland Nebraska Wrestler of the Year award. The Weeping Water heavyweight captured a Class D state championship on Saturday evening.

“The first couple 24 to 48 hours were crazy,” Cave said of the days after his championship. “Tons of emotion going through mind, but overall, it’s been amazing.”

Cave reversed last year’s state championship result with Overton’s Kien Martin, winning 6-5 in double overtime to claim his first state title. The loss last season only inspired him to work even harder.

“Definitely conditioning,” Cave said of his biggest improvement. “Coach makes sure we’re well-conditioned for every match. Another I focused on was technique. I never really liked shooting shots until the start of this season, and then I started getting more comfortable. It really helped me through the season.”

Cave says he started wrestling in seventh grade and quickly realized this was a sport he wanted to pursue. Still, it took plenty of time and work.

“In the middle school years, I was definitely not very confident with my wrestling,” he said. “I didn’t know if it was the sport I wanted to do in high school, but I realized this was the sport I should do.”

Cave received a boost in his freshman season when he narrowly missed a spot in the state tournament.

“I got so close to making it to the biggest stage in Nebraska, and it made me want to try harder,” Cave added.

In his sophomore season, Cave won 42 matches and just missed out on a medal. That led into a terrific run in his final two years with the Indians.

“(My sophomore year) made me want to push even further and further,” Cave said. “In my junior year, I made it to state, and I pinned the number one seed. I was super confident going into the next day, and it got in my head a little bit.

“I was a little over confident, and that was one of the mistakes I made last year. This year, I kept my composure, made sure my head was in the right place every match and I think that helped me.”

Cave finished his senior season with a 52-3 record, and more importantly, with a state championship. Listen to the complete interview with Cave linked below.

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