When you become a senior in high school, two things can happen. You will maintain the same drive or dedication that got you through the first three years in and out of the classroom, or you get complacent and experience a case of senioritis.
Put Carson High wrestler Jordan Luhrs in that first category. If anything, the Senators' 171-pounder has become even more committed to his sport as evidenced by his 14-2 record prior to last weekend's Las Vegas Classic.
"I've tried to be more focused," Luhrs said. "I put a lot of time in at he gym, twice a day. I worked on my strength and quickness.
"I also changed my mindset. It doesn't matter who I see out there. I've always tried to have an attitude like that, but other stuff would always creep into my mind. This year I've been able to shut the other stuff out."
Coach Tim McCarthy is full of praise for Luhrs, who he has coached both at Carson High and at the club level.
"He's off to a real good start," McCarthy said prior to last Wednesday's win over Damonte Ranch which clinched no worse than a tie and a fifth straight Sierra league dual-meet title. "He spent a ton of time in the weight room in the off-season.
"He's an old Bulldog wrestler, and it's nice to see him having this type of success. He's the type of kid you want to see have success because he's putting the work in. He has always been a committed kid. He rarely misses a practice. In the middle of the season, kids have reasons why they can't come to practice or they just miss practice. Jordan has never been like that."
To watch Luhrs is to appreciate him. He's not flamboyant. He goes about his business like a construction worker, who brings a lunchbox to work. Blue collar all the way. In an era where there is way too much chest bumping and unneeded celebration it's refreshing to see.
"I like to do my job and get off the mat as soon as possible," Luhrs said. "I don't feel the need to be out there screaming and jumping around."
"He's not flashy," McCarthy agreed. "He's more of a grinder. I'm not saying he's fast, but he's fast enough. He's not super strong, but he's still quite strong."
Labels don't mean anything to Luhrs. He cares about one thing, and that's winning. He continually works at ways to get better and increase his chances for success.
"I have go-to moves, and I'm always trying to set guys up for that. Once you get out there, though, a lot of time you're just reacting to what the other guy is doing. I have a pretty high percentage of wins by pin. I just try to go out there and win.
"Coaches have talked to me about improving from the top position offensively, and on my feet, too. I've never been very good at that."
His extra strength has been key to success this year. After wrestling at 152 last year, Luhrs has been competing in the 171-pound class, and he feels comfortable at that weight.
"My dad and brother said they had 20-pound growth sports after their senior year in high school," Luhrs said. "They were both 17 when they graduated high school. I've been 18 my whole senior year. With all the lifting I did, I got stronger. It's more than just size."
McCarthy said Luhrs is on the smaller side for a 170-pounder.
"Hopefully that's what kids should be doing; going up at least a weight class every year," McCarthy said. "He's pretty small for a 171-pounder, but I think he'll have a ton of success at that weight. What's nice for him is that he can eat as much as he wants when he wants, and that's rare for a senior."
Making weight is an issue many wrestlers face throughout their careers. Luhrs has hasn't a problem making weight since his sophomore season.
When you ask Luhrs about his goals, he talks more about the team than himself. The Senators won the regional title last year in their home gym, and Luhrs hopes to equal or better that this year.
"Winning state is a goal," Luhrs said. "The other goal is to push everybody to do as well as they can. I don't know what guys are down south (at 170 pounds). I'm just going to prepare and do the best I can."
That's the kind of answer you would expect from Luhrs, team first and individual second.