EL CAJON — Shane Rosselle had always wanted to play football. Unfortunately for the Poway High School athlete, only his desire to play the sport continued to grow.
Rosselle, who is 5-feet 5-inches and 112 pounds, kept trying to play football through his sophomore year though his teammates surpassed him in height and weight.
"I met him when he was in the ninth grade and he wanted to be a star football player," Poway wrestling Coach Wayne Branstetter said. "The poor kid was only 95 pounds. We had to change his course of life for him."
Rosselle has adapted well to the switch from football to wrestling. He finished fifth in the state wrestling final at 98 pounds his sophomore season and was seventh at 105 pounds last season.
Rosselle is 13-1 this season and was named the outstanding wrestler at Saturday's 22-team Colton Invitational tournament. The Times player of the week, he swept four matches to win the 112-pound title. He won by a pin and scores of 15-0 and 10-0 to reach the final. In the championship match, Rosselle won, 14-2.
When he entered the ninth grade at Poway, he tried out for the football team as a quarterback.
Rosselle, however, did not see much action and only handed off a few plays. His sophomore season he played on the junior varsity team, but said he only got to play a couple times on special teams.
"JV football kind of depressed me," he said. "I still think I was as good as (the other players)."
Rosselle first tried out for the wrestling team his freshman year, but he was not big enough to make the smallest weight--98 pounds. He wrestled unofficial matches at 92 pounds, finishing the season 16-1.
This season, Rosselle is one of the favorites to win the San Diego 3-A Division and Masters Tournament 112 titles. He won the 105 title last season in both meets.
Finishing seventh in the state last season was a major disappointment for Rosselle.
He entered the state tournament with a 40-0 record and a twisted knee, an injury he suffered in the final of the Masters the previous weekend. Though he had recovered physically, he had not healed mentally.
"Subconsciously, I'd shoot and then relax a little bit, thinking my knee wouldn't hold up," he said. "But it was healed. I couldn't make any excuses."
In the state meet, Rosselle lost, 4-3, to the eventual champion. He then lost the sixth-place match on a referee's decision after tying his opponent, 3-3.
It was Rosselle's sophomore season, when he finished fifth in the state at 98 pounds, that established his wrestling reputation.
After winning only half of his matches for most of the season, Rosselle suddenly blossomed. His finish at the state tournament helped Poway win the team title.
"He was sort of the Cinderella player of that team," Branstetter said.
Rosselle said his sudden success had more to do with his desire to stop losing.
"I started thinking, 'These guys aren't better than me, I can beat these guys.' "
Poway High School
Position: Wrestler, 112 pounds
Height, Weight, Class: 5-5, 112, Sr.
Last Week: Swept four matches to win the 112-pound class at the Colton Invitational and was named the tourna ment's outstanding wrestler.