It’s been a long road for Aaron Maxfield, a senior wrestler at Lee County High School. Though he’s still relatively young, you could call Maxfield a wrestling lifer. His father, Phil, is a former high school wrestling coach. When the younger Maxfield was 4 years old, he began his career in the USA Wrestling program. And he’s never looked back.
Maxfield has traveled all over the Southeast wrestling. In the process, he’s picked up some valuable experience against some of the region’s best wrestlers. One thing, however, that he didn’t pick up was weight. When he entered high school, Maxfield weighed 92 pounds – significantly below the minimum 106-pound weight class. He was able to wrestle but, as an undersized freshman, he had to compete against bigger, stronger wrestlers. Maxfield bounced on and off the varsity squad that year. He showed promise, but his size was very much an obstacle for him.
As a sophomore, Maxfield made the varsity team, but he was still small. He weighed 102 pounds and again wrestled at 106. His experience paid off; using what he learned after a decade or more in USA Wrestling and with a year of high school wrestling under his belt, Maxfield qualified for the state meet and finished the year with a 44-10 record. His 29 pins that season placed him at sixth in Lee County’s record book.
Tired of constantly having to wrestle bigger, stronger opponents, Maxfield hit the gym even harder between his sophomore and junior years. Finally, after two years of being undersized, he put on enough size to finally hit 106 pounds. The extra weight and strength proved to yield significant advantages; Maxfield went 46-6, placed fifth in the state, and set the Lee County record for pins with 35.
“I lost two matches at the state meet by one point each,” Maxfield says. “My senior year, I’d like to win the whole thing.”
The plan for this season is to start the season at 113 pounds. Then, after the holidays, he would like to cut down to 106. Maxfield’s goal is to make it back to state at 106 pounds.
“A lot of 120-pounders drop down to 113 pounds,” he says. “But they are often bigger and slower than true 113 pounders. At 106 pounds, the wrestlers are more compact and faster. It doesn’t sound very big, but I’m 5’5”. A lot of the guys at 106 are walking around at about 5’0”. I’ve learned how to use my height to my advantage against the smaller guys.”
For Maxfield, the key is to keep working and remain confident without getting cocky.
“I don’t want to get too confident,” he says. “I always try to stay humble, but I also go into every match knowing I can win, no matter who my opponent is. I also have a great team around me that can back me up. I know I can do well individually, and I know our team can do well. We’re trying to win tournaments this year. I want to go into each match confident, without any doubts.”
Aaron Maxfield has some interest from college wrestling programs. The schools are mainly smaller colleges a long way from home. He’s considering wrestling in college, but he admits that it might be a better choice for him to focus on his academics instead of trying to wrestle. That’s a decision he plans to make a little later in the school year. As for what he plans to study in college, he has his eyes on something in the medical field; he has considered becoming a physician’s assistant. He says that when he was younger, in the span of just a few months, he broke both arms and suffered through a bout of appendicitis.
“I was in and out of doctors’ offices,” he says. “I met with a lot of PAs, and that always interested me. Thankfully, I’ve never been hurt wrestling, but I’ve dealt with a few injuries in other areas.”
Special Feature/South Georgia/December 2015
Lee County High School
Robert Preston Jr.
Photography by Micki K Photography
From Fifth to First: Lee County senior eyes a state wrestling championship