Konrath signs to Wisconsin for wrestlinghttp://www.mvdemocrat.com/content/konrath-signs-wisconsin-wrestling
By Rachel Christian
Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 9:44 am (Updated: January 10, 10:58 am)
Paul Konrath comes from a big family. A very big family. As the youngest of 12 children, the Mount Vernon senior grew up watching his five older brothers wrestle and compete in high school.
Now, the youngest Konrath will be the first to take his wrestling career to the collegiate level.
On Nov. 1, the 18-year-old signed his National Letter of Intent to the University of Wisconsin, a school with a high-performing Division I wrestling program.
Konrath’s talent stood out to Wisconsin recruiters and others in the local wrestling scene, like Blake Maurer, Konrath’s personal coach at Maurer Coughlin Wrestling Club in Evansville. The Mount Vernon wrestler actually decided to attend school online last year in order to have more time to focus on wrestling at the club.
“The club was kind of the place to go,” Konrath said. “At the time I was wrestling for Mount Vernon, so I couldn’t wrestle at the club because you’re not allowed to do both.”
Konrath’s relationship with Maurer also helped the wrestler get recognized by faculty at Wisconsin. Maurer knew the school’s Assistant Coach, Camden Eppert, and introduced him to Konrath last year.
“We kind of knew them, and they kind of knew us,” Konrath said. “So he [Eppert] said I was welcome to come up and meet some of the people and watch a practice. I went up there and did that, and after talking to them for a while, I decided to verbal there.”
Because he didn’t spend every day in a classroom last year or practicing with a high school team, he had more time to train one-on-one with Maurer, travel to tournaments across the country and spend time getting to know people at Wisconsin.
Konrath will enter college with several major accomplishments under his belt. He earned second place at the IHSAA State tournament his freshman year, going 97-7 with the Wildcats. He also placed third at state his sophomore year. He finished first in two of the national tournaments he competed in this year.
For his senior year, Konrath returned to the high school, but graduated early last month because he had to fulfill his credit requirements. He said he plans to use his spare time before college begins to focus on training and getting settled in Wisconsin. He is also looking into taking a college course or two online over the summer.
In his spare time, Konrath volunteers with the youth program at Agape Church, where he is a member.