Wiesbaden's Munro Davis picks up the leg of Stuttgart's Aidan Morgan during the 132-pound title bout at the Warrior Wraggle on Jan. 13, 2024, at Wiesbaden High School in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Wiesbaden's Munro Davis picks up the leg of Stuttgart's Aidan Morgan during the 132-pound title bout at the Warrior Wraggle on Jan. 13, 2024, at Wiesbaden High School in Wiesbaden, Germany. (Matt Wagner/Stars and Stripes)

Munro Davis had his eyes set squarely on the football field.

Yet during the Wiesbaden Warrior’s freshman year, a teammate, Landon Escobar, a 2023 graduate, pushed Davis to consider hitting the mats to improve on the gridiron. Escobar expressed how much he enjoyed the sport of wrestling.

“I was like, ‘OK, I’ll try it for one year,’” Davis said. “I really got into it. I started training in different places. I really fell in love with the sport.

“I still talk to him. I told him he’s the reason I’m into this (sport).”

Three years and two DODEA European titles later, wrestling has supplanted football as his favorite sport.

Stars and Stripes’ 2023-2024 wrestling Athlete of the Year followed up a big sophomore campaign with an even bigger junior year, going 18-1 and winning the 132-pound weight class at the DODEA European Wrestling Championships. His performance earned him the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler.

“Having other coaches come up to me and talk to me and say how they like to watch me wrestle, it’s really motivating, makes me happy,” Davis said of earning the tournament honor.

Davis was the only champion from the 2023 tournament to win a second crown this February at the Wiesbaden Sports and Fitness Center on Clay Kaserne on Feb. 10.

And the Warrior junior did so at a higher weight class. Davis jumped two classes from 120 to 132.

To prepare for the higher weight, Davis bulked up over the summer, eating a lot and hitting the weight room. Davis also joined a local club, KSV Wiesbaden, which competes in freestyle instead of the folk style used primarily by high schools in the States and in DODEA-Europe. With the local club, Davis squares off against those older than him, many of whom are adults – helping him grow as a wrestler.

Davis also said he continued to work on style on the mat. He described himself as quick and explosive, going after opponents’ legs instead of using his upper body strength and throwing them to the ground.

He said he picked up those qualities from teammate Jacob Lane, his sparring partner in practice and the 2024 champion at 144 pounds.

“There’s a lot more strength and speed to it,” Davis said of grappling at 132. “Over the summer, I worked a lot, gained a lot of weight and I was able to be stronger at that weight class.”

Not that it was easy for Davis.

The Hawaii native faced a setback on Jan.13. At home, Davis lost 7-1 to Stuttgart junior Aidan Morgan. Davis said that loss proved to be a valuable learning experience, as well as motivation for the rest of the season.

He got two chances to avenge that loss in the tournament, as he and Morgan, the 2023 runner-up at 126, were matched in the same pool despite being the top two seeds. Davis collected a close decision in pool play, and then he followed that up with a 9-3 win in the final.

“I didn’t expect to wrestle him on the first day,” Davis said. “I think after that first win, that’s when I knew I was going to win the whole thing because I beat him in overtime. I think that crushes someone. The finals match, he still gave me a good match, but I knew I was going to win it.”

As for the future, Davis is heading to the States this summer to face more competition. He also hopes the experiences will get him some looks from colleges, as he said he hasn’t generated much interest despite his experience in Europe.

He also said he wants to expand his repertoire, as he tends to use the same moves consistently.

When asked about trying to go for the three-peat, Davis said he wants to accomplish it.

“Definitely. If I’m here.”

author picture
Matt is a sports reporter for Stars and Stripes based in Kaiserslautern, Germany. A son of two career Air Force aircraft maintenance technicians, he previously worked at newspapers in northeast Ohio for 10 years and is a graduate of Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

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