Woodbury Central’s Garrett Arment knows what it’s like to wrestle through pain.
And yet Arment was a placewinner last season and has hopes of finishing high on the podium this week at the Class 1A state tournament.
Last season Arment separated a rib from his sternum late in the season and that could’ve ended his junior season. He’s had to deal with a more serious injury this season.
Arment took a week off, did some light practicing after that and used a makeshift brace to try and keep the rib in place for the rest of the season.
While the brace did help, the rib still slipped out of place from time to time. Arment didn’t let that end his season, though. Even with the rib injury, Arment qualified for the Class 1A and finished eighth at 152 pounds.
“There would be occasions it would slip out and it would cause pain through my chest and would stop me from wrestling,” Arment said. “I just had to wrestle through the pain.”
The separated rib is minor considering what Arment went through during football season this past fall.
During the homecoming game against Westwood on September 28, 2018, Arment, the Wildcats quarterback, got hit in the stomach. While it hurt, Arment finished the game.
Later that night, he couldn’t stave off the pain anymore and went to the hospital. Arment suffered a lacerated kidney in three different places.
Not only was his high school football career over, but his wrestling career was also hanging in the balance.
“The doctor looked at it and thought I had to have surgery right then and there and if that was to happen, I wouldn’t be able to wrestle,” Arment said. “They looked at it and figured out I wouldn’t need surgery but questioned how well it would heel.”
Arment spent four days in the ICU. After leaving the hospital, he was on bedrest for a week. He had to sit out at least eight weeks.
Then when the eighth week was over, Arment was cleared by doctors and he will finish out his wrestling career at Wells Fargo Arena this week at the state tournament.
Woodbury Central coach Jake Thomas coming back from the two injuries that Arment has had just shows how much of a competitor Arment is.
“It’s never stopped him. We joke that nobody practices healing as much as he does. He’s overcome a lot,” Thomas said. “To relate to it is hard. That’s who he is and he wants to compete. Mentally he will drag his body out there and give it all he has. It’s fun to watch.”
Thomas didn’t even know if Arment would return for his senior season even before school started but not because of an injury.
Arment’s father received a job transfer to Loveland, Colorado. Arment’s parents and sisters moved to Colorado but Garrett wanted to finish his senior season at Woodbury Central and is living with his grandmother.
If the Wildcats would’ve lost Arment to the move or to injury, they would’ve lost a leader in the room along with fellow seniors Jim Moss, Seth Stamm and Casey Beaver.
“It meant so much for him to be here with his buddies. The one thing you never doubt is his desire to be a Wildcat and to compete,” Thomas said. “He’s been a huge part of our program for four years, all of those seniors have. They went through some lean times in their freshman year. To see those guys grow and to make the state duals last year and be on the cusp this year, I can’t thank them enough for the effort they’ve put in.”
Arment has been a force on the mat since his return. He picked up his 100th win and is ranked No. 5 at 152 pounds in 1A by the Predicament. He finished as the runner-up at the district tournament to qualify for state again.
Even after everything, Arment is confident he can make a deep run at 152.
“I am confident that I could reach the championship. I want it so bad because last year I was striving to go far and I suffered the injury,” Arment said.”This year I don’t have as bad as an injury so I feel I can get that top three spot and I am striving for top three.”
Thomas said Arment is as capable as anyone as finishing on the top of the podium.
“He wrestles with a physicality that most kids don’t see. He puts his hands on people and it’s hard to prepare for,” Thomas said. “He doesn’t show a lot of emotion but when he competes, he’s on another level. His intensity on the mat, we haven’t had many people on that level. That physical style is awesome to see.”
After his senior year is over, Arment plans to attend Colorado State. He will try to join the football program as a walk-on.
While it’s been a trying time this season for Arment, he considers it a successful senior season even with what he’s been through. It’s given him a positive outlook on life.
“I can look at it with the injuries but I’ve had a fantastic football season and I’ve been wrestling fantastic. I know what it feels like to have a season taken away so I am just enjoying it because I don’t know when the last day is,” Arment said. “I’ve said to teammates and coaches that every day is worth enjoying. The injury was an obstacle but it’s one I’ve overcome and I’ve learned to enjoy things. It’s made my senior year better because I’ve been able to look at the bright side of things.”