Derby High School has seen a number of outstanding athletes roam its halls through the years, with DI players and pros counted among those numbers. Even so, recent graduate Cason Lindsey’s career stands out.
Lindsey closed out his senior year with a second straight individual state title in wrestling back in February, bringing his state championship total (both individually and as a member of a team) to six – making him one of the most highly decorated athletes in Panther sports history.
On top of earning individual titles his junior and senior year, Lindsey was part of the state championship wrestling team as a sophomore and also won titles with the football team the past three seasons. Admittedly, Lindsey said the pedigree of the DHS football program pushed him to pursue lofty expectations.
“Coming into high school, that was the goal; win state,” Lindsey said. “Having that mentality year in, year out makes it so being good is not good enough. You always want to strive for that extra … so that you do get that state title.”
Entering high school having had success in kids club wrestling, Lindsey said that entire class of wrestlers had a similar mindset helping drive their success. Unlike others, though, Lindsey may have had to live up to higher expectations – as both his dad (Craig) and brother (Cade) claimed individual state titles in their time as Panthers.
Having the chance to go out a two-time state champion on the wrestling mat is not an opportunity Lindsey takes for granted – especially given that some of the other winter athletes didn’t have that same chance to compete at state last year given the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Knowing the history that came before him and the history that will be made after him at Derby High School, being part of six state titles is something Lindsey sees helping cement his legacy as a Panther. Of course, he was always trying to build on the family legacy as well (with the Lindseys the first parent/child and sibling pairing to win state wrestling titles at DHS), though he admitted all that success in one household was a motivator to push him beyond
what his father and
brother accomplished in their prep careers.
“The fact that we’re a successful family, to be able to say that I have the most success of the successful family is really cool,” Lindsey said. “I might bring it up at Thanksgiving.”
Surgery may have cut his spring season short, but it has also given Lindsey time to pursue his next step – with plans to wrestle in college.
Reminiscing in that time as well, Lindsey knows there were plenty of lessons learned along the journey – both on the football field (progressing from scout team to varsity) and the wrestling mat – that he will take with him no matter where he continues his athletic career.
“These state titles, they taught me work ethic and they taught me what it means to work for something,” Lindsey said. “Everybody has a role and it’s very important that you know your role and understand that, just because you may not be in the spotlight, what you’re doing matters.”
Most recently, Lindsey added to his list of accolades, being named the DHS Male Athlete of the Year. While he recognized there were many deserving individuals, he admitted he could not ask for a much better end to his high school career.
Community has been a big part of that and Lindsey said that has helped shape his path, noting that no matter where he ends up he wants to repay all of that support moving forward.
“Part of me wants to keep that community vibe in my life,” Lindsey said. “Really, I’m just thankful for everybody that’s helped me on this journey and thankful for the opportunity to be able to be part of something this great.”