BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MIRROR SPORTS — Ramsey Quinn wanted to quit every single day.
The Maumee junior had finished up his football season and was ready for his first year of wrestling, but first, he needed to lose weight to wrestle in the heavyweight division. Quinn had to lose more than 40 pounds just to make weight.
So for six weeks, Quinn was on what he called a “stressful 24-hour grind.” He would run the halls of Maumee High School during practice while wearing two shirts, two sweaters, two hoodies, two pairs of shorts and a pair of sweatpants with music playing on his ear buds and his hood up to keep all the heat in.
After all the work and sacrifice, Quinn had dropped nearly enough weight to be eligible for the Panthers home dual against Northview on January 11.
When he checked his weight after school, Quinn was at 287 pounds – just two pounds over weight. So off he went, running the halls as fast as he could for two hours.
“When it was time for weigh-ins, I was so nervous,” he said. “Everyone was asking me, ‘Do you think you made weight?’ I didn’t know.
“When it was my turn to hop on the scale, I was scared that I didn’t make the weight. Everything felt like it was moving in slow motion. I was scared to look down at the scale.
“Coach (Brian) Buck told me to look down at the scale – I was 283.6 (pounds). At that moment I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my back.”
According to Buck, the coaching staff was worried earlier in the season whether Quinn could make weight since he was having trouble dropping pounds. In late December, they changed their training for Quinn, having him run more than wrestling during practice.
“As a team, everyone wanted to see Ramsey make weight,” Buck said. “He has such a great personality that you can’t not root for a kid like that.
“I give him credit because most kids would not have done what he did. You basically told the kid that you have to attend practice, do everything that everyone else is doing, but there is a chance you might not wrestle.
“Other kids would have just not come out or quit. Kids want instant success today and that was not gonna happen.”
While the training sounds bad enough, Quinn said it was the diet that was the hardest for him. Dinner consisted of a 5-ounce chicken breast and two boiled eggs. He limited himself to between 200 and 1,000 calories per day.
“And if I was hungry when I wasn’t supposed to eat, I would take melatonin because you can’t be hungry if you are sleeping,” Quinn said.
It all paid off for Quinn this season. He went 15-13 as a heavyweight and advanced to the Division II district tournament.
While Quinn said he was surprised by his success, Buck attributed his accomplishments to some measure of natural athletic abilities.
“I knew I was going to do OK, but I didn’t know that I would do great,” Quinn said. “I was surprised because this is my first year ever wrestling and my opponents had been wrestling their whole life and I beat most of them.”
For now, Quinn’s focus will return to preparing for his senior football season. He’ll spend his time in the weight room training with other teammates before conditioning really kicks in over the summer.
Both Buck and Maumee athletic director Cam Coutcher, who was Quinn’s football coach last year, said it would benefit Quinn to keep the weight off.
“Ramsey had trouble playing both ways, and with his skill level, his current fitness level will allow him to compete on more snaps on Friday nights,” Coutcher said. “Our program will be better for having him on the field.”
Coutcher added that the sacrifices and work Quinn put in to wrestle this year and the lessons learned from it can only serve to make him a better competitor on the football field.
“I think it takes a special type of person to commit to something and have the drive to see it through,” Coutcher said. “A person with his level of confidence can set a great example for others, and I love being around Ramsey because of this.
“He has taken others under his wing and been a terrific leader in wrestling and football.
“All of that taken into consideration, it was extra special to see him be able to compete after working so hard to get that opportunity. He was focused on the process and in the end benefited from that mindset.”
As for Quinn, he’s not sure how his sleeker build will help him on the football field, but he knows that at least it can’t hurt.
No matter what happens this fall, though, Quinn has already proven that he’s a winner. Back to that first match against Northview – not only did he make weight to appear in his first wrestling match, but he won it with a pin.
“When the ref hit the ground, I was the happiest man in the room,” he said. “Everyone was so happy for me. They all cheered for me. I felt like I won a WWE championship.”