Matanzas senior wrestler Tyson Mills was ranked No. 1 in his weight class in Class 2A earlier this season, but he might not be the best wrestler in his family.
Of course, there is a lot of competition, starting with his father, Abe, who was his first coach, and including his five brothers and sisters. Mariah, a freshman, has qualified for state. Tyson and Jordan are expected to join her there.
When did you start wrestling?
I started when I was about 11. That's when I really got into it.
What do you like about the sport?
I just really like the environment of wrestling. I like to win. And I like being with my siblings out there.
When was the first time Jordan beat you in a match?
He has, but not in an actual tournament. We did wrestle in a tournament when we were in middle school, and I did win that, but now it’s tough, because we wrestle in high school all the time in practice. And depending on the day, sometimes he’ll get the beating on me, and he’ll pin me a lot, but the first time was probably my sophomore year when he was in eighth grade.
So you knew he was going to be tough?
Oh yeah, he’s tough. He's super aggressive.
So, you and Jordan are wrestling partners in practice, even though you are a 152-pounder and he is a 170-pounder, and there is a weight class in between?
It’s because I give him the best match. He beats up on everybody else way worse than he beats up on me, so I wrestle him a lot.
“We’re always wrestling in the house. Sometimes it’s ‘Don’t wrestle around the computers.’ ‘Or in the kitchen.’ But my dad’s always wrestling with us.”
How did it feel to be ranked No. 1 earlier this season?
It felt good to be up there, but you know, you can't really let rankings get to your head. I’m not ranked number one anymore. I’m ranked third now, so it's cool, and it’s postseason now, so I have to keep winning.
Have you faced the two guys ranked ahead of you?
I faced the number one guy, Nick Hejke from Mosley. I faced him at Flagler Rotary, and he beat me (13-2). I made some mistakes. I’ll have to face him again at the region.
What’s your goal this year?
The goal is to be top two. I want to have a medal around my neck, at least.
What are your plans after high school?
Actually, after the season's over I’m going to take a two-year mission to Fiji and serve the Lord. I have my associate degree, so that has me set up a little ahead for college. So, I’ll try to become a transfer student to go to (Brigham Young University).
Who do you think has the most potential as a wrestler in your family? And you can say yourself.
Honestly, that’s a good question. I would say myself, but Jordan, he's just as tough as me, and he's getting tougher. And he's just a sophomore. So, he has a lot of potential. Mariah, she just started wrestling, and she's already ranked top 10 in the state. I didn't get ranked until my junior year, almost at the end of the season. So, I think they both definitely have more potential than me. But if I had to pick out one of them, I would probably say Jordan.
Do you guys get in trouble for wrestling in the house?
We’re always wrestling in the house. Sometimes it’s “Don’t wrestle around the computers.” “Or in the kitchen.” But my dad’s always wrestling with us. But we can’t beat our dad. He’s pretty strong.