Leaving a mark can be on the minds of many athletes, but for one NIU grappler, it comes down to one final season.
Senior wrestler Bryan Deutsch has reached the top of the conference before and is now looking to get to the top of the country.
Since cutting down to 157 pounds in 2008, Deutsch has posted a 36-16 record while winning the 2009 MAC Championship and has advanced to the NCAA tournament two straight years.
The Columbia City, Ind. native has his sights set high for the end of his final season.
"If I can make it to the finals at NCAA's, I think I can do some pretty big things," he said. "The ultimate goal would be to win, but I wouldn't be too disappointed if I was an All-American. Since it is my senior season the ideal situation would be to be on top of the podium at NCAA's."
Deutsch, who is coming off of a second place finish at last year's MAC tournament, is ready for another run.
"I haven't really missed a step this offseason," Deutsch said. "I haven't gone backwards, and I think I've actually taken a few steps forward in refining various aspects of my wrestling repertoire. There's no real offseason when you're a Division I athlete."
The senior also added that these early tournaments and opens will give him a good idea on what needs to be refined and what he needs to change in his game plan to set him up for a better finish.
His concentration on each match instead of what he could accomplish in the end is a main point from NIU head coach Dave Grant.
"That's a long way off and there's a lot of challenges between here and there," Grant said. "That's the end result and that's something you're looking at down the road, but I think the task at hand is one week at a time."
Deutsch and the rest of the Huskies are set to continue their progression this Saturday at the Indiana Duals in Bloomington, Ind.
NIU has been working on parts of its game which it lacked during last week's Michigan State Open and Grant believes they are ready for their second tournament.
"We've been keying in on those areas and working on them day and night to get them up to speed on where we need to be this weekend," Grant said. "Our guys are wrestling hard and they're focused on what they need to do."
The Huskies will square off with wrestlers from Indiana, who they saw last weekend, along with UNC-Greensboro, Liberty and Old Dominion.