As improbable as it may seem given his success with the Central Crossing High School wrestling team, Kameron Teacher nearly walked away from the sport as a freshman.

As improbable as it may seem given his success with the Central Crossing High School wrestling team, Kameron Teacher nearly walked away from the sport as a freshman.

Competing as a heavyweight but facing opponents who were bigger, stronger and more experienced, Teacher was tired of being thrown around in practice and in matches.

"A couple weeks in, I was ready to quit," said Teacher, a senior who took a 33-0 record into this week. "I didn't think it was for me."

Coach Jamie Ramirez knew he needed to convince Teacher to stay with the program. He remembered seeing Teacher in the halls at Pleasant View Middle School, where Ramirez was a health instructor.

"(Even in middle school) he looked like an athlete," said Ramirez, who now teaches health at Central Crossing. "I remember grabbing him and trying to talk him into going out for wrestling. He wasn't on the middle school team because he was over its heavyweight limit (of 245).

"You could tell right away that he had the chance to be pretty good. I told him that. He didn't get taken down a lot, he had a quick shot and was good on his feet."

Despite not wrestling since third grade, Teacher finished 18-18 as a freshman and was a Division I district qualifier.

"I knew I would get better as the season went along," said Teacher, who was 133-28 in his career entering the week. "When I made district (as a freshman), that really inspired me."

Teacher qualified for district in each of his first three seasons, but made a major leap as a junior when he was unbeaten at 49-0 entering his first state tournament. He didn't wrestle up to his expectations at state, going 1-2 after having aspirations of winning the program's first championship.

In the opening round, Teacher lost 4-2 to Perryburg's Cale Bonner. Earlier in the season, he had beaten Bonner 12-1 in the final of the Mike Casey-Maumee Bay Classic at Oregon Clay.

"I felt like I let a lot of people down," Teacher said. "I had never been to state -- not even to watch -- so it was definitely a different experience.

"Now I realize that I can only focus on the next match, not matches down the road. I didn't wrestle the way I normally do. I wasn't as aggressive."

Teacher's aggressive style is what sets him apart from most heavyweights, who lock up and try to muscle their opponents to the mat with throws. Despite being 283 pounds, Teacher is quick to shoot for takedowns and become the aggressor.

"Kam's a real crowd-pleaser," Ramirez said. "He's not going to tie up and throw. He's always going for a takedown, which is something you normally don't see from a heavyweight."

Teacher also was a standout defensive lineman for the Comets, earning special mention all-state and first-team all-district and all-OCC-Central Division last fall. He originally came out for wrestling to help his football skills.

"I thought (wrestling) would help with my footwork," said Teacher, who has yet to decide on a college or whether he will compete in wrestling or football at the next level. "It's especially helpful for playing on the offensive line. Wrestling has me in the best shape of my life."

Getting in that shape, however, hasn't been simple. Central Crossing's wrestling room doesn't have an appropriately sized wrestler to match up with Teacher, so he competes against 2010 graduate Isaac Redfern or the 185-pound Ramirez.

"Kam has the weight on me, and he's pretty fast and explosive," Ramirez said. "Isaac is 300-plus pounds and is more of a match for him."

"(Teacher) doesn't stop moving and he has a killer instinct," said Redfern, who helps out the program. "He hates to be scored upon. It's amazing that he has been unbeaten before state in the last two seasons, especially with the schedule that the team wrestles."

In a pair of multi-state showcases, Teacher won the Medina Invitational Tournament the last two seasons and the Ironman Invitational at Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit this season. Now he wants a chance to get Central Crossing its first state championship.

Envisioning himself winning a state title is one reason he didn't walk away as a freshman.

"That's my goal, and it's what I have been working toward," he said. "I keep working hard every day in every practice. I want to finish strong."