There are times when, within the first 10-15 minutes of training, Hawks senior wrestler Kevin Makosy feels physically exhausted. But, diagnosed with Type I diabetes in sixth grade, the University of Maryland recruit has become adept at navigating challenges and breaking through barriers. Though Makosy said he never wants his battle with the autoimmune disease to define him, or his successes on the mat, the journey certainly has required he build a mental fortitude unrivaled by his peers. In turn, what most might consider a weakness, has essentially become Makosy’s greatest strength.
On March 2 Makosy, who Urbana coach Justin Krop admitted might not be the strongest kid or best athlete but perseveres through his drive, mentality and work ethic, not only won his second consecutive Class 4A/3A state championship at 195 pounds, but defended his 2018 title in dominant fashion.
“He turned an unfortunate circumstance and used it to his advantage; he’s become a better person, and a better wrestler,” Krop said. “He doesn’t take anything for granted. He goes through more discomfort than the average human being and he’s been able to overcome it. He had to grow up, and mature and become more independent earlier than most kids but he doesn’t feel sorry for himself. Where other kids would probably need to take a break or take off practice, he doesn’t let (his discomfort) dictate his outcomes.”
Overcoming obstacles is a huge part of wrestling, said Makosy, who Krop commended as the first to admit when he makes a mistake and is always eager to learn from it.
Makosy doesn’t waste his time making excuses; he only searches for ways he can improve and move forward. He’s gotten used to being uncomfortable, Krop said, and his ability to fight through even the worst of conditions, “makes him special.”
“He’s used to competing when he’s under duress or when he isn’t feeling good,” Krop said. “And that makes him pretty tough to beat, not just in wrestling, but in life, in general.”