By: Scott Keyes
Tim Lambert has an interesting perspective on what makes a successful wrestler.
“Everybody has a body that that can be shaped into a wrestler,” said Lambert, a senior 119-pounder for Forest Hills Eastern. “But the good wrestlers have that mindset, where they can't get enough and are always moving forward.”
Lambert's psyche has been put to the test in his four years wrestling for the Hawks.
Many call Lambert the best wrestler in the state of Michigan without a state title.
During his freshman year, Lambert lost two of his five career losses at the Division 2 state finals to take fifth.
His sophomore season his only loss came to Holly's Anthony Gonzales in the finals, while last year, his only loss came at the hands of eventual champion Connor Youtsey of Mason in the semifinals.
To date, Lambert has a 224-5 career record, 46-0 this year and is ranked first in the state in his weight class and second nationally.
His only focus now is to finally win that state title.
“It doesn't affect me too much if people call me the best wrestler without a state title,” said Lambert, who will be wrestling for Nebraska next year. “If that's how people refer to me, that's how they will refer to me. I just go out and wrestle my match, but in my heart, that really pushes me.”
Lambert admits that remembering any of the 224 wins is somewhat of a blur. But he can detail the losses, especially the one that came his sophomore season.
“Losing in the state finals is the most devastating, but they all hurt,” Lambert said. “Those are the things that make you move forward and made me the wrestler I am now.”
Moving forward means spending most of his year on a wrestling mat, either competing or working out.
“I usually have between 30 and 45 days a year where I am away from wrestling – days I'm not on a mat,” Lambert said. “I did do a lot of offseason wrestling this year, and practiced pretty much every day, or every other day. A lot of wrestlers get that way, so you need some time off.”
It is that work ethic, and his knowledge of the sport that rubs off on some of the young wrestlers in the Forest Hills Eastern practice room.
He's been a big influence on me,” freshman 103-pounder Jake Dault said. “He always wants to be the best he can be, and I want to do the same thing he does. He puts in extra practices, like at Michigan Xtreme, and that pushes me to do that.”
Being the best will mean finally being able to stand atop the medal stand at the state finals.
“It will definitely mean a lot,” Lambert said. “It will end my high school carer and get me ready for college. Finally reaching that goal will get me ready to move on to college.”