Here is a story I wrote for East Vallye Tribune.....


Too much Vitamin D is definitely not a good thing for area wrestlers.

Symptoms include sore backs from bridging and a falling winning percentage.

It’s an epidemic that has gripped a faction of wrestlers who have come across Mesa junior Diorian Coleman.

“They call me Vitamin D because if you have too much of it, it is bad for you,” Coleman said. “I like it. It has some personality.”

Coleman has been one of the state’s rising stars on the wrestling mat as he has compiled a 25-2 record at 171 and now 160 pounds as the Jackrabbits prepare to host Hamilton in a dual meet Wednesday and head to the Doc Wright Tournament in Winslow this weekend.

It is hard to stay Coleman is a surprise because Mesa seemingly always has an individual or two have breakout seasons.

The competition in the Jackrabbits’ practice room manifests top individuals who struggle to make the team one year and compete for a state title the next.

“We knew he was good just by how he did in the room,” Mesa coach Bobby Williams said. “He competed with our state placers and then this summer he really went out and put the work in.”

Last season Coleman saw some varsity action but for the most part was behind Edgar Verdi (state champion 145), Tsone Khabulah (third place 152) and Nick Robles (state runner-up 160).

“I knew I had to wait my time because those guys were seniors (other than Verdi),” said Coleman, who won a freestyle state title over the summer. “It’s a progression thing. They earned the right to be there, but I knew I was just as good as them. I just needed a chance.”

His lone defeats are to Tempe Corona del Sol’s Pablo DeLeon at 171 and Phoenix Moon Valley state champion John Gast at 160.

The loss to Gast was a classic, crowd arousing and controversial 4-3 four overtime match. It was 3-3 at the end of regulation after Coleman had a takedown waved off after a discussion between two referees.

Neither could score in the extra periods and some thought it should have been over earlier because Coleman had too much injury time.

It wasn’t the first time the two combatants met up.

“I beat him a couple of times during the summer,” said Coleman, who drills with Verdi in practice for the most part. “It was a tough match, but I loved hearing my teammates and Mesa fans cheering for me.”

The match confirmed Coleman as a state champion contender, something he hasn’t made a goal. His thoughts go beyond that.

“I want to be a (college) All-American,” said Coleman, whose father, Rick, was one. “All All-Americans are usually state champions so if I figure if I am an All-American then I must be a state champion.”

Coleman said his father has helped him, but never pressured him to wrestle a certain way.

“He said every wrestler has their own style,” he said. “He showed me the sport and kind of let me do my own thing.”

Williams said Coleman has been solid but the demanding coach knows there is even more potential.

“He is quick and strong,” Williams said. “His technique is improving and with more mat time. He is only going to get better.”

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