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Athlete of the Week – Matthew Chavers III

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FREEPORT (WREX) — Freeport senior wrestler Matthew Chavers III is our newest WREX Athlete of the Week.

Chavers helped the Pretzels claim their first NIC-10 title in program history, then won an individual Regional championship last weekend. He takes aim at Sectionals with a possible berth at state on the line after that.

"We're not friends with anybody," Chavers said. "We compete in every match. Regardless of rankings or what anyone says. We have a tough schedule. We practice hard. We just go out there and wrestle every match."

Chavers learned a lot from wrestling with Major Dedmond last year. Dedmond won a state championship after battling with Chavers in practice all season.

"It definitely opened my eyes a little bit, like that could be me too," Chavers said. "You have to put the work in at the end of the day."

The conference championship means a lot to this group of Pretzel grapplers.

"It wasn't by accident," head coach Anthony Dedmond said. "These guys put in a lot of work to be successful and do good things."

While he may be one of the toughest guys to beat on the mat, Chavers brings a pleasant demeanor with him outside of when he's competing.

"That smile he has lights up a room," Dedmond said.

Chavers hopes to be smiling after Sectionals this weekend, and at state the following weekend.

Derek Bayne

Derek Bayne joined 13 WREX as the sports director in December of 2011. He grew up in the Chicago suburbs and moved back to Illinois after working several years in North Carolina. For any sports story ideas or tips, you can email

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