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Area Male Athlete: Road Crew's Adkins gearing up for late-season success

Nate Adkins Year: Senior School: Pine River-Backus Sport: Wrestling Position: 145 pounds Highlights: Finished last week 5-0 and owns a 28-1 season record If Nate Adkins lets out a loud roar during a wrestling match, people need not be worried. Th...

Nate Adkins
Nate Adkins

Nate Adkins

Year: Senior

School: Pine River-Backus

Sport: Wrestling

Position: 145 pounds

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Highlights: Finished last week 5-0 and owns a 28-1 season record

If Nate Adkins lets out a loud roar during a wrestling match, people need not be worried.

The senior for the Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus Road Crew might have a little lion in him. At least his coach thinks so.

"He's just got a heart of a lion," said Road Crew head coach Travis Hoffarth. "He just does not give up. He doesn't quit. He battles through. He's very determined. He shows great perseverance.

"His biggest strength is determination. He just never stops. He's going to make you earn every single point, which he is very, very good at kind of stomping his opponent out as far as points go. He doesn't give up a lot of points. He capitalizes on your mistakes from all positions. He can score from all positions. He's good on his feet. He's tough on top and is able to escape."

By the time this story reaches readers' eyes, Adkins will have likely earned his 100th career victory. He was sitting at 99 wins before the start of the Mid-State/Heart O'Lakes Conference tournament Friday at Lake Park.

Adkins entered the conference tournament with a 28-1 season record with 17 pins. On Tuesday, he scored a 1:53 pin over Perham's Josh Germolus.

Last week, Adkins finished 5-0. He went 4-0 at the Gadberry Duals Jan. 16 in Moorhead. He posted a 3:55 pin of Hayden Hermanson of South Fargo. He topped Jamestown's Max Montoya with a 2:29 pin. He pinned Richard Dralu of Fargo Davies in 4:42 and finished the dual-meet tournament with a 3:55 pin of Grand Forks Central's Bryce Brandon.

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In a tight 36-30 loss to Aitkin Jan. 14, Adkins battled the Gobblers' highly-regarded Jerod Novak to a 5-4 victory.

"This year, he's managed to battle through some ailments," said Hoffarth. "He was sick here recently, but was able to battle through it and beat Novak, where most kids would have probably been at home in bed. He showed up and still wrestled that night and still beat a very good wrestler. It just goes to show he's not going to make excuses as to why he can't do something."

Adkins said if the match would have been in an individual tournament or against anyone else he wouldn't have wrestled.

"I was sicker than a dog," Adkins said. "I wrestled for the team. If it had been an individual thing, I would have sat out for sure just to let my body recover. I wrestled for the team and I just gutted through it. I did it for them. The Lord gave me the strength to do it and so I went and gutted it out."

Last season, Adkins struggled through the Section 8-2A individual tournament because of injuries, but still landed a spot in the Class 2A state tournament. He lost his opening match, but didn't fall into the wrestlebacks. The one-and-done experience has been a big motivator for Adkins.

"It was rough the last half of the season, especially getting down to state," said Adkins. "It was a tough loss because it was against somebody I can beat and I should have beat so that adds a little more fuel to the fire.

"My goals are to make it through the season healthy and give it everything I have. I'm hoping to podium finish at state."

Adkins won the 152-pound individual title at the Big Bear Tournament. He collected three pins and a technical fall before scoring a 3-0 decision over Colton Waldvogel of Osakis in the championship match.

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Adkins' one loss came during the Dennis Kaatz Invite at Wadena. The senior was tripped up by Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale's Zach Waln, the 10th-ranked 152-pounder, 11-7 in the semifinals. Adkins rebounded with a pin and a 2-1 decision over Ty Moser of Perham to finish third.

"The one loss he really kind of handed it to him by giving him some points at the end of the first period and he wasn't able to battle back," said Hoffarth. "That was a learning experience. That was the first tournament of the season in December and he learned at that point that he doesn't need to force things because he can earn points within the six minutes."

Adkins is the fifth-ranked 152-pounder in Class 2A, but he'll likely attempt to advance to state at 145 pounds. It's a weight he feels confident at.

"I'm feeling pretty good down here so I'm thinking this is where I'll be staying," he said.

Other notable performances:

Basketball: Abe Imdieke, Lake Region, scored 22 points against Redstorm and 24 points against Rosemount.

Nathan Davies, Aitkin, finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds against Ogilvie.

Zach Struss, Pine River-Backus, finished with 23 points and nine rebounds against Northland.

Luke Weniger, Verndale, scored 22 points against Menahga.

Thomas Kornbaum, Little Falls, finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds against Albany

Aaron Weber, Pierz, scored 24 points against Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted.

Micah McGaffey, Lake Region, finished with 23 points against Prior Lake.

Noah Gindorff, Crosby-Ironton, finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds against Detroit

Nordic skiing: Hunter Zupko, Little Falls, won the Detroit Lakes Invite in 25:28.6.

Hockey: Max Phillips, Wadena-Deer Creek, finished with three goals and two assists against Prairie Centre.

Wrestling: Joe Harrison, Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus, finished the week 5-0.

Brandon Tomala, Kolton Eischens, Logan Lease, Lane Girtz, Teddy Dehler and David Skiba, Pierz, all finished the week 5-0.

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop .

Related Topics: WRESTLING
Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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