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The BluePrint Online

The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

The student news site of Hagerty High School

The BluePrint Online

Blake takes second at wrestling state championship

Varsity wrestling takes eighth overall
Boys+wrestling+makes+it+to+FHSAA+State+Championships+to+end+the+season.+Sophomore+Nikolas+Blake+made+it+to+the+semi-finals+and+broke+the+record+for+most+single-season+pins.
photo by Brooke Bohan
Boys wrestling makes it to FHSAA State Championships to end the season. Sophomore Nikolas Blake made it to the semi-finals and broke the record for most single-season pins.

Only losing in his final match, sophomore Nikolas Blake secured second place in the FHSAA state championships on Mar. 1, marking a significant milestone in his wrestling career. He showcased himself on the mat throughout the tournament, ending with 10 wins.

“Being ranked in second is an incredible honor and achievement,” Blake said. “It’s like a reminder of all the hard work I’ve put into this.”

It wasn’t easy for him to get this far, between practicing consistently after school and moderating his diet.

“Training is very, very rigorous. I normally try to focus on my techniques and strength,” Blake said. “Sometimes during practice, it feels like I spend hours [on the mat], but staying motivated helps me push through it.”

During the matches, Blake felt a whirlwind of emotions swirling through his head. But he didn’t let himself get carried away—he was determined to finish this season strong.

“There was a huge mix of emotions during the matches. Like adrenaline and that rush—I was also so nervous, especially in the final rounds,” Blake said. “But I tried to stay focused and keep calm; I just wanted to give it my all.”

I wanted to do my best and told myself I wouldn’t quit until I had to. I’m very proud of where I ended.

— Nikolas Blake, 10

Freshman Hunter Jessee (4th, 106) and senior Connor Gilliam (6th, 175) also helped lead the team to 8th place at the championships. 

“They worked hard and they had a lot of grit,” coach Scotti Diaz said. “I was proud of how relentless they were and that they wouldn’t quit.”

One of the standout moments was Blake breaking the single-season pin record, a feat Diaz held as proof of Blake’s skill and dedication. The record was originally 45 pins, which Blake tied in the quarterfinals and broke during the semi-finals.

“My final match was definitely something I won’t forget. I was so shocked that I was able to beat the record, but it was so exciting,” Blake said.

Looking ahead, Coach Diaz and his team are already strategizing on how to build upon this season’s achievements.

“The coaches have looked at the season as a whole, and we’ve discussed where we need to work on,” Diaz said. “We’re going to begin to work on them this offseason and do some strength conditioning to get ready for next year.”

Despite facing many challenges, the team preserved and finished their season on a high note.

“I wanted to do my best and told myself I wouldn’t quit until I had to,” Blake said. “I’m very proud of where I ended.”

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About the Contributors
Gabriella Navarro, Features Editor
Gabriella Navarro is a junior at Hagerty High School, and this is her first year on staff. She enjoys reading, hanging out with her friends, and listening to Taylor Swift.
Brooke Bohan, Staff Photographer
Brooke is a sophomore at Hagerty High School and this is her second year on staff. Brooke’s passions are in all things related to photography and journalism. She was called as an NSPA 2023 national finalist for a sports action photo. Outside of school, Brooke spends her time skating with her longboard.
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