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Nations learning on the fly for Cougars

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By Michael Hicks

Evergreen freshman wrestler Thomas Nations is also part of the school’s jazz band. So for some wrestling practices, he’s only there for half the time. Two other days a week, he’s there for the duration. But what he has learned with those limited reps is paying off.
The Cougars’ 126-pounder posted his first varsity victory Dec. 10 with a pinfall of Clear Creek’s Gage Richards in 1 minute, 3 seconds. The win proved to be vital as Evergreen scored a 24-21 dual-match victory over the Golddiggers as part of a tri-meet with Platte Canyon at Clear Creek High School.
“It feels good,” Nations said of his first varsity win.
Though Nations’ time in the wrestling room has been sparse, his success on the mat at Clear Creek was not a surprise, Evergreen head coach Lane Williams said.
“Watching him pick stuff up is amazing. He’s a real quick learner,” Williams said. “He does phenomenal in the practice room. He should’ve won last week against Valor, but he gave up at the very end when he was winning the match. He’s been very impressive in the wrestling room working with Alex Baker and Tim Farver. He’s learning a lot of moves.”
Though he was upended in his first match of the night — a pinfall loss to Platte Canyon freshman Ryley McMahen in 1:05 — Nations put the moves he’s learned to good use against Richards.
“When you’re actually wrestling, it just seems like you’re trying to get a hold, a move or something like that,” Nations said. “When I heard the whistle blow, it felt good. I knew I had won.”
Connor Williams (106 pounds), Lane Hanson (113) and Farver (132) all got forfeit victories, resulting in 18 of the Cougars’ 24 points in their dual match victory over Clear Creek. The win was nice and surprising, Lane Williams said.
“I was kind of shocked. I looked up at one point and thought, ‘I think we’re going to win this,’” he said. “It was kind of surprising. They were depleted with a lot of kids out either ineligible or sick. We do, too.”
The results weren’t as favorable against Platte Canyon, which scored a 60-12 victory. Hanson scored the team’s lone head-to-head victory. The 113-pounder pinned the Huskies’ Zach Rael in 25 seconds. Evergreen’s other six points came
via a forfeit for Connor Williams.

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.