Where There’s a Will There’s a Way

Yorba Linda Mustang Wrestler Will Cox (12) has performed outstandingly this season, winning 2022-2023 CIF Champion among other fantastic accomplishments.

YLHS Wrestling

Yorba Linda Mustang Wrestler Will Cox (12) has performed outstandingly this season, winning 2022-2023 CIF Champion among other fantastic accomplishments.

Anjeli Webb, Editor

The appealing search for extrinsic motivation often steer the masses to procrastination, burnout, and eventually the scrapping of unrealistic goals. Dieting trends and fad workouts also lead well-intentioned athletes astray.

In the midst of motivational music playlists and mediocrity, one young man has risen above the rest, sculpting his future and dreams with disciplined intention. 

Will Cox (12) has displayed exponential growth since his first year of wrestling. He personifies the body and spirit of a true dominant force in high school sports. 

This wrestler has won first place at the Norco Rodeo Wrestling Challenge, first place at CIF Southern Section Northern division Boys Wrestling Tournament (individual title), and has been League Champion two times. Additionally, he won second place at the Southern Masters Tournament, third place at the 5 Counties Invitational, two matches at the State Championship, and fourth place at the La Costa Canyon Tournament.

Will has won countless awards and honors, but at first sight, he is a regular high school student. During the season, he has wrestling practice multiple times a week. What sets him apart is his determination to go the extra mile and his mental discipline of an enlightened warrior.

Will is a former Jiu Jitsu practitioner and soccer player. He joined the wrestling team at his friend’s suggestion, making the legendary switch from kicking a soccer ball to kicking butt.

He has incredible willpower and works relentlessly to become the epitome of a good wrestler, which in his own words, consists of being “mentally unbreakable, disciplined, confident, and coachable.”

YLHS Wrestling

To develop and maintain his physical prowess, Will has developed a regime of wrestling two practices a day, lifting weight afterwards, and running whenever he can. He constantly pushes himself beyond his limits and trains to win.

Will is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, but a monster on the mat.

— Bryson Webster (11)

He encounters no setbacks—when he broke two of his fingers, Will’s immediate instinct was to continue to wrestle with them taped together.

Fellow wrestler Bryson Webster (11) respects Will’s “mindset and complete dedication to wrestling,” as well as his “work ethic and consistency when training.” Webster says that “Will is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, but a monster on the mat.”

Will is also blessed by having the best instructor on his team. YLHS Wrestling Head Coach Brian Fortenbaugh (Staff) has been a coach for 31 years, starting at Villa Park High School in 1992 and leading YLHS Wrestling since its inception in 2009. Endearingly nicknamed “Coach Forty,” he explains that the sport takes immense toughness, sacrifice, and surprisingly, teamwork. To prepare for meets and tournaments, wrestlers must choose to miss social events while spending time training to stay in shape and perform well academically. He advises his athletes to “be the first to practice, last to leave, and always push the pace.”

Aside from taking an active role in Will’s success, Coach Fortenbaugh has been an ardent observer of him as well. According to the coach, “Will has always wanted to be great. His determination and drive have carried him to success.” He offers an explanation for the grappler’s exigence, “I think one of the things that drove him the most was not finishing his junior season the way he wanted. He lost his last match of the year to an athlete he had beaten in league finals. This did not sit well with Will and drove him to work harder.”

Will alternated workout partners—all with different skill sets, wrestled in some of the most elite off-season tournaments in California and Las Vegas, and made a commitment to getting stronger. He also gained an impressive amount of strength by weight training between his junior and senior year, and as his coaches say, “with strength comes the confidence and toughness that he wrestled with every time he stepped on the mat.”

After competing in high school nationals last weekend in Virginia Beach, Will plans to make his decision on which college to attend. The “man with the plan” is only going to become an even greater wrestler in college.

To read more about Will Cox’s incredible accomplishments, visit the following:

PYLUSD wrestlers earn top honors at CIF-SS and Master’s Tournament – Good News Report