'That's my dream': 11-year-old wrestler from Geneva competes across the world
LINCOLN, NE — Training as the accolades of the Huskers best look over him.
"It's awesome to have this ability to train where all the Huskers wrestlers train," Zechariah Davis said. "Not everyone can have this ability. I feel like it's great to be able to train here."
In hopes of one day reaching similar heights.
"I want to win a national tournament and I also want to get a state title," Zechariah said.
"That's my dream."
11-year-old Zechariah Davis from Geneva trains twice a week the Nebraska Wrestling Training Center.
Wrestling since the age of four, he’s made plenty of strides. This summer, he’ll travel to Hungary in Europe — his third overseas trip for the sport.
"Crazy," he said. "At the age of nine and 10 to it was crazy to take trips over to Sweden and India. So fun and a great experience to enjoy."
While memorable experiences for him, that’s not been the case for parents Kelly and Rory Davis, who’ve stayed home for each of the trips.
"It was incredibly hard," Zechariah's mother Kelly said. "My heart felt like it was on the other side of the world because it was, but it was amazing to be able to give him the opportunity."
This now thrice-in-a-lifetime chance coming by happenstance on social media.
"There was a Facebook group called World Wrestling Tours," Zechariah's father Rory — who was a wrestler growing up himself — said. "I just saw the pictures of all these kids riding elephants, monkeys sitting on them, on this ancient viking burial ground warming up. I'm like, 'Wow. This is amazing.' Obviously, I know where this sport can take you how far at how young of an age."
A reason Zechariah’s gotten as far as he has, is the access to the training he receives. His coach Gage Anderson is a former Husker wrestler.
"I've been around him long enough now to see him grow quite a bit and he's turning into a pretty awesome wrestler," Anderson said.
Anderson’s story is different. He didn’t discover the sport until starting high school.
"I'm extremely jealous," he said of Zechariah's travels. "I never got to do anything like that. I always tell him to really enjoy himself and to take in the sights and to really remember the experience because it is a special one."
The work Zechariah has put in stateside has his potential sky high, his coach said.
"I think it's limitless at the end of the day," Anderson said. "I like to keep that attitude for a lot of the kids I work with, but Zechariah is very technical and when he puts his mind to it, he can be an absolute beast."
Although it’s costly, his parents say it’s well worth it to see him chase those dreams.
"It's definitely been a great experience," Rory said. "He has friends from Alaska to New Jersey as well as friends from Sweden that are on his Snapchat that he still talks to."
While Zechariah works, he’s enjoying the ride too.
"The main importance of wrestling is just to have fun," Zechariah said. "It's doesn't matter about winning and losing. Just go out there and have your greatest time ever."
If you would like contribute to Zechariah's next transatlantic trip, his parents have set up a Venmo account as a way to collect funds.