BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - This weekend, Section IV will send 30 wrestlers to the New York state championships in Albany.
One of those 30 has already made history for his program and tonight, he's my Athlete of the Week.
"He's always smiling. He's a happy warrior going out there, and getting after it. Just loving every moment of it," says Head Coach Taylor Weigand.
Binghamton High School wrestler Constantine Gehring certainly has a lot to be smiling about as of late.
The junior is coming off a dominating performance at the Section IV championships, seeing him win the 120-pound weight class.
That guarantees him a spot in the state championships in Albany this weekend.
This is a moment that he's been dreaming off for years, going all the way back to when he first started wrestling at just 5 years old.
"I went down to PeeWee in Owego. There's, you know, about 30 kids basically all running around. You learn slowly. It's mostly games and stuff, and then, just slowly progressing through the years," Gehring said.
Gehring's progression has led him on a path to a sectional, and potential, state title with the Patriots.
You also heard Constantine reference starting his wrestling career in Owego, which is where he lives.
Yet, he wrestles for Binghamton.
So, why not just wrestle for Owego?
Because he also goes to school at Seton Catholic Central.
So, each and every day is a long one for Gehring.
"The day usually starts 30 minutes to there. Then, I have to walk after school, which ends later than (Binghamton) does. It's about a 5-minute walk, 5 blocks down. It's a lot of time, but I think it was worth it, just to come wrestle at Binghamton with the coach and with good kids."
One man who's certainly glad that Constantine has made the commitment to wrestle for the Patriots is his head coach at Binghamton Taylor Weigand.
No BHS wrestler had won a sectional championship since 1992, something that Coach Weigand says gives him a tremendous sense of pride.
"It's one of your proudest moments. You see the work all the guys put in all the time, and you're always wanting the best for them. And the best at the sectional level is a section championship, and he went out and got it. And that's what you're always hoping for for your wrestlers. And you want to take them to those next levels, and see that work pay off."
As if winning a section title wasn't enough, Gehring was honored as the Most Outstanding Wrestler for the tournament, an award that Constantine had no idea even existed.
"When I got the Most Outstanding Wrestler, I didn't even know what it was. I didn't even know there was one. So, it was surprising."
Coach Weigand was far less surprised by the award, as he sees how hard Constantine works every day.
"It demonstrates the hard work that he puts into it. What I like most about it is it's not just me that recognizes it, but also the larger community of coaches and officials in Section IV that recognized the work that he puts in. And how much growth he's been able to have, and have that show up and perform at the highest levels in the sections."
That hard work carries over to the state championships on Friday, with Constantine opening up against the top seed in the 120 weight class.