Nathan Johns has a lot of great assets on the mat: strength, quickness and smarts according to TCA Head Coach Sean Collins but the best asset was developed at home.
“I do believe that having brothers in the sport of wrestling is a great asset, where it’s the next level to rough housing,” Collins said. “When they were in the basement and mom said, ‘stop!’ this is the end result of that.”
Johns is one of three brothers, all wrestlers and all state qualifiers, but the youngest is the only one with a state title, taking home the 3A crown at 182 pounds in 2018.
The humble TCA senior heads into this year’s state tournament as the top overall seed at the same weight class and looking for a second title to bring home.
“Every match is a new match and I can’t underestimate any of my opponents because they could come out there and be a lot tougher than I expected and beat me,” Johns said. “I need to go out there respecting all my opponents and fearing none.”
“He will kind of pick you apart and then work to counter what you do and then capitalize from there,” Collins said. “He is extremely clutch.”
Johns has been wrestling since the 4th grade and playing soccer since then also but the reward on the mat outweighs the prize on the pitch.
“In soccer you can rely on your team; so if you lose, it can be the team’s fault but when you wrestle, everything you put into it is what you get out,” Johns said. “If you’re willing to go the extra mile and put in the hard work, you’ll see the results.”
The state wrestling tournament gets underway Thursday morning at the Pepsi Center in Denver with the 2/3A weigh in at 11:30 a.m. Preliminary rounds begin at 2 p.m. 4/5A weighs in at 12:30 p.m with the prelims beginning at 6 p.m. on 10 mats.