Unlike other sports where being redshirted means being limited to just practicing, wrestling provides a different opportunity, of which Phillip Laux is taking advantage.
The former Iowa City West standout is wrestling unattached this season as a redshirt freshman at Iowa and the results have been encouraging. Laux has compiled a 19-0 record at 125 pounds, including seven pins and five major decisions.
He credits much of his success to his Iowa teammates.
“I really would say that my trainer partners are what really helps push me,” Laux said. “It’s getting in here every day, and when I’m scrapping with them it just makes me want to really perform on the weekends because they’re wrestling on the big stage.”
Laux was a two-time state champion at West, earning a 103-pound title as a junior and a 113-pound title as a senior. He now wrestles at a weight where Thomas Gilman and Cory Clark have waged an ongoing battle for supremacy at 125 pounds.
Wrestling unattached requires Laux to pay for his own tournament expenses.
“It’s basically like going to a tournament on your own,” Laux said.
The cost is worth it, though, as Laux tries to improve his chance of making the big stage.
“I just have to keep working day in and day out and just make sure that I come in ready to fight every day,” Laux said. “It’s just keeping things in perspective and keeping that goal in mind. It’s a lot of little steps that are going to accumulate into big steps.”