Commentary

Gogonas, Stiegemeyer grapple with becoming the best

Updated: December 4, 2008, 2:03 PM ET
By Brian A. Giuffra | Sepcial to ESPNRISE.com

Each weekday, ESPN RISE brings you five vital stats from athletes across the country.

[+] EnlargeDustin Stiegemeyer and Greg Gogonas
Mark GreenbergSenior Greg Gogonas and junior Dustin Stiegemeyer have made each other better wrestlers.

Senior Greg Gogonas and junior Dustin Stiegemeyer are two of the best wrestlers in Texas. The James Bowie (Austin, Texas) duo lost a combined five matches last year (Gogonas went 47-3 at 119 lbs., Stiegemeyer went 46-2 at 103 lbs.) and each finished second in the state championship in their weight class. They've wrestled against each other since grade school and are here to share the five hardest things about wrestling a friend.

1. Leave the friendship behind
"It's an aggressive sport. When we both start getting going it can get pretty intense. But afterward we're friends again," says Stiegemeyer.

2. Bigger is better
"I win way more than him just because I have that extra weight and year of experience," says Gogonas.

3. Experience is everything
"When I first started they [Greg and his brother George] had been in it for a year and they knew more stuff than me. They helped me with my technique and got me in shape. Closer to fifth grade I was right there with them," says Stiegemeyer.

4. Attack, attack, attack
"He's got a pretty good shot. It's hard to defend his shot. But I think I have a pretty good shot too. Whoever shoots first is hard to defend," said Gogonas.

5. Make your friend better
"We're some of the best wrestlers in the state. Wrestling against each other is only making us both better," says Gogonas.

"When we go against each other we give each other the best we can give. We're not going to get practice like this anywhere else," says Stiegemeyer.

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