Hart seeking 4th straight title at regionals this weekend - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Hart seeking 4th straight title at regionals this weekend

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ANNA -- Most area schools have wrapped up the wrestling regular season, and now turn their attention to the postseason.

One team gearing up for the postseason is reigning regional champion Anna-Jonesboro Wildcats.

Arieh Hart has been rather successful for Wildcat wrestling for the past four years.

The senior now heads to his final regionals meet this weekend looking for a fourth straight regional title.

Arieh's love for wrestling started in sixth grade, as a way of improving his gridiron game in the offseason.

"My coaches said, 'You want to be a better football player? You need to wrestle' and I thought about it, and I've actually enjoyed it since then," said Hart.

Wrestling helped Hart build that mental toughness that makes him such a dominating force on the field and the mat.

"You know, when things aren't going your way, you've got to still stay focused and just got to keep going and grinding it out. Just knowing what you're doing when you're tired. When you're tired, you still got to focus. It's just a mental thing, it got me better as a football player mentally," said Hart.

During his time, Arieh's level of intensity helped shape Wildcats wrestling into a powerful program, winning regionals last year.

"If you wrestle with him and work like he does, when they see how hard he works, and when they go that hard, they do get better," said Wildcats wrestling coach, Eric Massey.

In his career, Hart has posted a 139-31 record, and hopes to turn that win column to 150 with a trip to state.

"Since I was at state last year, I've thought about it. And I've put in a lot of work this year to have a title. And it means a lot for me, that's my main goal right now, is to go out there at state and dominate and get that title," said Hart.

But to get to state, Hart will first have to win his fourth straight regional title Saturday at Carterville.

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