SHERIDAN — Cody Delk and Tory Music aren’t shy about why they like to wrestle.
The two Broncs will tell you that they enjoy beating people up.
They’ve found a healthy way to appease that urge, immersing themselves in wrestling and finding success fast. Now, they’re set to put their talents on tour in over the next few months.
First up will be the National High School Wrestling Championships in Virginia Beach, Va. Delk and Music leave next week for the competition April 3-7. Then, the two will travel to Australia and New Zealand with Down Under Sports this summer.
Delk returns to Virginia after placing fifth as a sophomore and earning All-American status. And, at high school wrestling’s biggest stage, that was no easy feat. Weight classes are divided into brackets by class, and last year there were 575 sophomores with 743 juniors vying for rights as best in America.
“Just to place again would be nice,” Delk told The Sheridan Press Tuesday afternoon. “There’s a lot of kids in the junior bracket, I know. It’s going to be tough. I’d like to do better than last year.”
He pinned his first-round opponent last March, dropping out of the winners bracket in the second round after a 14-5 decision. Delk won three matches in the consolation side to earn the fifth place finish. For a tournament that sees more than 30 three-time state champs and nearly 20 four-time winners, better than fifth, his goal, is no small accomplishment.
“We’re both up the wrestling room going hard with coach,” Delk said. He and Music are on spring break this week, but continue working out in the mornings, preparing with head coach Tyson Shatto.
“He’s got a lot of experience,” Delk said of the Broncs’ first-year coach.
“It’s a lot of new stuff, positioning,” Music added. “It’s a lot more working on our feet and our technique and where our position is.”
Shatto was a state champion wrestler at Douglas High School, going on to the University of Wyoming where he wrestled for the Cowboys.
For the sophomore and junior Broncs, the national and international competition will serve as the first chance in bouncing back from a disappointing end to their 2013 high school seasons. Both rolled into state title matches only to finish runner-up — Delk at 220 pounds and Music at 182.
“We were just nervous, it’s a lot of pressure,” Delk said. He won the 4A East regional title the weekend prior to state, convincingly. Pinning his semifinal and final challengers at regionals, he did the same in the state semis. Delk lost 5-3 to Natrona’s Greg Lensert in the 220 title bout.
“It’s frustrating, coming off beating the kid 12-1 from East,” Music added, who had followed Delk’s lead the week before hoisting the 182-pound regional crown with a 12-1 decision over 2012 All-American wrestler Christian Robinson of Cheyenne East. He fell 5-3 to Robinison in the state final, suffering a late takedown.
But state championships are elusive animals like that, and they’re right back in the gym.
“We want to be the best,” Music said. “I started wrestling when I was four, so it’s always been a part of my life. I just love beatin’ people.”
Those who have watched Delk strut out onto a wrestling mat have seen his expansive frame and huge arms that make him look no less than a full-grown athlete.
“I just got into it about eighth-grade year, and I just fell in love with it,” Delk said. “I went out there worked hard. Sometimes you get to hurt ‘em, and sometimes it just feels good to beat ‘em, even beat the crap out of them.”
After Nationals, Delk and Music are fundraising so they can make the longer trip after they were invited as a part of Down Under Sports. They’re selling T-shirts and accepting donations while they train.
“I’ve just got to keep my head on straight and scrap for everything,” the younger Music explained how Delk and Shatto have helped him in their prep for a bigger stage. “It’s kind of nice if we go over there and make an impact.”