Less than 24 hours after standing on top of the podium at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines with a second state championship medal draped around his neck, Julien Broderson was back at work.
The Davenport Assumption junior was in the gym lifting weights and doing some cardiovascular work in beginning his preparation for a run at a state three-peat next winter.
"It never stops," Broderson said. "It is always wrestling season."
That tireless work ethic has catapulted Broderson to great heights and among the best to come through the Knights' tradition-filled program.
Broderson is the captain of the Quad-City Times All-Metro team after rolling through the competition this winter. He was 39-0 and had only two matches go the full six minutes.
He capped it with a second-period pin in the Class 2A 182-pound state final.
"It was fun to celebrate that night, but you immediately refocus after," Broderson said. "You can always keep getting better. There is always a next level, always room to grow."
Western Big Six champion Moline, Mississippi Athletic Conference champion North Scott and Bettendorf each had three wrestlers selected to the first team. Broderson's teammate, Matt Robertson, joins him on the top team after claiming his second straight state title at 132 pounds.
Of the 16 wrestlers chosen to the first team, 15 of them won at least 35 matches and were state qualifiers in their respective state.
West Liberty's Bryce Esmoil, who finished his high school career with 88 straight wins, captains the All-Area squad.
Signed to wrestle at Northern Iowa next season, Esmoil is ranked 12th in the country at 195 pounds by InterMat and will represent Team Iowa in the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic later this month.
Esmoil (53-0) had only three matches go the entire six minutes this year. His closest encounter was a 9-3 win over Central DeWitt's Nick Smith in the state semifinals.
Like Broderson, Esmoil registered a pin in the state final.
Wilton 152-pound state champion Trey Brisker also highlights the all-area squad along with a pair of Illinois state runners-up in Mercer County senior Stone Engle (132) and Kewanee senior Lewis Robinson (152).