Nate Kendricks Gives a Smackdown on the Mat

CJ Gullotta

Staff Reporter

Nate Kendricks Jr. (12) took the number one seed in state for wrestling. The Liberty senior won state finals and had one of the most impressive seasons for a wrestler.

Kendricks went 38-5 in total, and made his way to the state final in Reno, on February 9th. The wrestler took down Nemendez from Reed High School in Sparks, Nevada.

“The rest of the season was exciting but had rough edges. Everything had added up to this moment. It was dark with one spotlight in the arena. I was winning by one point with 30 seconds left on the clock. Everyone was screaming and everyone I beat was watching one mat. It was straight out a movie to be honest,” said Kendricks.

He went 6-0 in regionals and state for his 220 lbs class. State finals took place in Reno. Kendricks had to take on one of the greatest challenges of his wrestling career away from home.

“He tried to throw me the last 15 seconds, and I put him straight to his back. The crowd was against me because we were in the north. The whole crowd went ooooh. It wasn’t a cheer. After that I was just to beat and tired I couldn't think straight or even be happy I just won state. I went to the side of the table and just dropped,” said Kendricks.

Kendricks is a role model student-athlete. He works hard to do his best in every aspect, inside and outside of wrestling. He sets his priorities straight, and lets nothing come above what must be accomplished.

“During the season I had excluded everyone but the team. I would go straight to practice, then straight home. It would be rare for me to even go out to the movies during the season,” said Kendricks.

The senior wrestler’s previous seasons were nothing in comparison to this years. He is a living example of what dedication can accomplish.

“My losses were way higher in the previous years. I was weak and would always get sick after a tournament. More injures happened last year. But now I am used to the pain and that grind. I smile when I see my opponents beat down throughout the match,” said Kendricks.

“The people that influenced me the most is everyone on the team. I gotta make a statement so that they won’t lack. And if I am lacking then they are gonna make a statement. The coaches were way more comfortable with us this year than the previous year because we all matured,” said Kendricks.

Other than being a superb wrestler, Nate plays football and focuses on his studies. He is a kind and humble role model for his peers.

“Nate is very hardworking and also courageous. If Nate lost a match, it just meant he had more to learn. To wrestle with Nate is fun but can be a little scary because of his size, especially when your a few weight classes under him. He’s very humble and is a great person. Outside of wrestling Nate is a goofball, but he is very smart and has a lot of knowledge about a lot of things,” said wrestling teammate Kenny Marzola (11).

Nate Kendricks won state for wrestling, finishing with one of the best seasons. He remains humble and is a great role model for all of Liberty’s student-athletes.