When Terrese Arron was a sophomore in 2015-16 with the Mexico varsity wrestling team, that season and each that came before it was all about laying the foundation for everything that followed.

This included a pair of heavyweight state titles in 2016-17 and 2017-18, which led to the former Bulldog signing to compete for Northern Illinois. Currently Arron just completed his freshman season at the college level. While he does have the good fortune of being teammates with fellow Mexico grad. Brit Wilson, proving worthy enough to compete on the Div. 1 platform is a challenge that's both mental and physical that lies squarely on his shoulders and his alone.

"I learned about Terrese while recruiting Brit. He had a breakout season as a junior and made some noise in the state and at National level events," said NIU coach Ryan Ludwig. "I was looking to recruit heavyweight and Terrese looked to have a lot of potential. I also like the way (Mexico) Coach (Gayle) Adams prepares his guys for the next level."

This season the Northern Illinois wrestling team finished with a record of 8-10 overall, 2-5 Mid-American Conference. Highlights this year for NIU included winning at Cleveland State 26-7 on Feb. 16, one day earlier on Feb. 15 the team was victorious at Kent State 22-13 and on Feb. 2 the Huskies dominated Bloomsburg University 33-5 in East Lansing, MI. according to www.niuhuskies.com.

"Terrese has progressed in maturity since his arrival at NIU. Like most freshmen, this experience takes some getting used to," Ludwig said. "The training is harder, the partners are unforgiving and the expectation level is very high. He had some nice wins and some hiccups. Consistency is key for his development and he’s working on the things we are preaching to him."

This season Aaron was redshirted and competed unattached. In 15 matches he posted a record of 9-6. In 2019-20 recent Mexico grad. Dillon Nichols will be joining Wilson and Arron at NIU, as well. This year as a starter Wilson was 23-6 at 174 lbs. for NIU.

"It’s a challenge to come into this situation from high school. The life of a division 1 wrestling student-athlete is very demanding," said Ludwig. "That being said, he’s working on becoming a complete student-athlete, as are the rest of the young guys. It’s a great group and they’ve become very close throughout the year. I believe the future is bright with his class."

In his time at Mexico Aaron had a record of 178-27 on the mat. During those two title seasons as a junior and senior he won all of his 101 matches. This came after placing fourth as a freshman and sophomore. The former Bulldog was also the first athlete in school history to earn All-State honors in three sports in one year.

"Terrese is a big man that can move. It sounds simple, but its doubly important at heavyweight. He is competitive and hates to lose," Ludwig said. "(Aaron) is pretty raw in terms of technical wrestling, but he can scrap and I love that. He is continually working on the development of technique and match strategy. He learned a lot through the course of the year and I’m sure his growth will be exponential this year with being exposed to the fire of varsity level elite competition weekly."