Korey Karbowsky is a member of Ocoee High’s wrestling and football teams.
A four-year member of the Ocoee High School wrestling team, Korey Karbowsky has been a force on the mat for the Knights. Along with his knack for wrestling, Karbowsky also played football for Ocoee High as a center and long snapper.
When did you get into wrestling and how did you get into the sport?
I wanted to play tackle football in elementary, and my dad was like, ‘OK, let’s do a physical sport before you go into tackle football.’ So in the middle of first grade, I started wrestling at a small gym in Eustis, then I wrestled club … then wrestled (at Ocoee) since I was a freshman.
What is the biggest change you’ve seen in yourself since you first started wrestling?
Wrestling in the lower levels — when you’re younger — is a very different style than high school, but the biggest thing for me is my weight. I wrestled at 138 and 145 — I bounced around there my freshman year — then my sophomore year I got injured, but last year I was up to 220, so it’s just a stylistic change between 138 and 220.
What has been your favorite thing about wrestling at Ocoee?
Just the friends you make from being in there all the time with your teammates — just hanging out with them all the time. Even after wrestling practice, we’ll go and hang out a lot during the weekends.
What is the toughest aspect of competing in a match?
In a tournament, it might be that first match for both of them, because I get butterflies even if I know it is someone I should beat. But then, also, once you finish that match you just feel so much better — you’re relaxed and confident.
Is there a highlight moment for you during your time at Ocoee?
It felt good my freshman year when I won ninth and 10th grade Metros. I was small — I was 138 pounds — and I didn’t have a lot of muscle on me, so winning that did a lot for my confidence, because I was wrestling varsity and I was wrestling these big seniors. Winning that just boosted me.
How do you mentally overcome obstacles that you come across in wrestling?
When you get into the wrestling room you just have to practice, practice, practice the basics — you just have to focus on those. If you just trust the basics — trust your techniques — you’ll get over it.
What is the most difficult technique to master in wrestling?
I would say, in general, neutral — there’s a lot more to neutral than top and bottom. For neutral, you have your setups, you’ve got the takedown itself and you’ve got the finishes, so neutrals is a bit more complicated than the others.
Do you have a favorite technique?
I like top. I love wrestling top, and it drives my coach insane sometimes, because you’re not really supposed to choose top — you’re supposed to choose bottom and then get to top or neutral and get the takedown. But I like choosing top, because I’m pretty confident in my pinning ability.