Every time Robbie Mathers enters a wrestling room all he cares about is getting better.

It goes along way in understanding why the Desert Vista senior chose to continue his wrestling career at Utah Valley State.

He could have stayed local at Arizona State or gone to traditional Big 10 powers Michigan or Minnesota. He even thought about Cornell, where his great grandfather, Robert Mathers, is in the school's wrestling hall of fame.

Instead, the two-time Arizona state champion chose the Wolverines because of one of their assistant coaches - Erkin Tadzhimetov, a nine-time junior national champion in Uzbekistan and a three-time World Junior placer.

"He is about my size and he will really push me," Mathers said of Tadzhimetov, who wrestled at 133 for Utah Valley State from 2003 to 2005.

Mathers is the Thunder's first two-time state champion and has his sights on No. 3 this season.

The season starts Tuesday when the Thunder host Mountain Pointe and Glendale Mountain Ridge in a tri-meet.

Contact writer: (480)898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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