The Olympia High junior is gearing up for the final weeks of a successful season.
Mac McNeilly, a 285-pound Olympia High junior, is gearing up for final weeks of a successful wrestling season. Recently, he placed third at the Lake Mary Tournament of Champions Jan. 8, won at the Lake Nona Battle in the Lions Den Jan. 22 and 23, and placed second at the Timber Creek IBT Jan. 30.
Which match so far this season has stood out to you the most?
Last week, I beat the No. 7 kid in the state, Tahj Glemaud, from Dr. Phillips in an overtime takedown. The whole season I didn’t know if I could beat him or not and then I surprised myself and a lot of other people by being able to do that.
What’s your favorite thing about wrestling?
I like the fact that if you’re team’s not the best, you can still be successful. It’s you versus the other guy. Your success is entirely dependent on your work ethic.
What quote stands out to you and why?
“The first period is won by the best technician. The second period is won by the kid in the best shape. The third period is won by the kid with the biggest heart.” As cheesy as it sounds, if you believe hard enough, you really can do a lot in wrestling. A lot of it is just mental.
What’s your favorite part of competing?
Winning. Getting my hand raised at the end of a match. It’s just one of the best feelings you can have. It’s a combination of accomplishment and confidence that you can succeed.
What are some of your hobbies outside of school and wrestling?
I like spending time with people who are special to me. I like eating, and I go to a lot of Orlando City and basketball games. I play ultimate Frisbee on the side and some basketball here and there.
If you could be any animal, what would you be?
I’d be a bear so I could sleep for three months out of the year.
What is the most challenging aspect of wrestling for you?
A lot of people would usually think it’s the workout itself, but for me it’s more of the mental game because I have to be able to think my way through matches. My mentality when I walk on the mat is, “I’m not going to let him beat me.”
If you were stuck on a deserted island and could only bring two things with you, what would they be?
A pillow and a blanket, because if I go out I’m going to go out comfy.