By Bernie Franulovich
He’s the dude with a lot of water and super short shorts. During wrestling season he’s often seen looking continually bruised and beaten from practices and competitions. He scares off all competitors with his tough-guy appearance.
Nathaniel Fousel is the 2014 state champion of the 195 weight class for 1A/2A/3A school division, and just this year he won the 4A state competition for the 195 weight class. He’s wrestled for eight years, four of those on the Kayhi team. He’s also been on the varsity baseball and football teams at Kayhi since he was a freshman. In the summer of 2014 he attended the JRobb Intensive Camp at the University of Minnesota, which is a hardcore program for top-notch wrestlers across the nation.
Not only is Fousel an experienced and talented wrestler, but he is also a high achieving student, and is involved with his community. He’s a member of National Honor Society, and he has been a Captain on the wrestling team since his sophomore year. Balancing a busy practice schedule with tons of homework from his numerous advanced placement courses, as well as helping out in the community, is more than difficult, it’s nearly impossible. Wrestling head Coach Rick Collins says that Fousel’s work ethic is second to none, and his school and athletic records are great evidence of that.
“Being on top of your homework, bring it on trips, doing your homework everyday after practice, and getting it all done, no matter what,” Fousel said. “Time management is a big deal.”
Fousel is a senior this wrestling season, a year that his competition has no doubt been waiting for since he was a freshman. He’s one of those athletes that competed so well as a freshman he could have passed as a senior. Fousel says he would like to continue wrestling in college, but is unsure of his college plans. Collins says that he has the ability to compete in wrestling at the collegiate level.
“Competing at college is definitely a big jump, but he has abilities, but yeah for sure he could,” said Collins.
Senior year is a crazy year, but Nate isn’t letting any of that get to him. He set the goal of defending his championship title and he accomplished this goal, this time at the 4A level, because Kayhi moved back into the large schools class. Fousel has also set the lofty goal of being an All-American Athlete, even a National Champion.
“[Senior year] is kind of sad, but I’m mostly just excited. I want to finish off by doing really well,” said Fousel earlier this year.
This year Fousel’s weight class was even more competitive than last year, with a combination of Kayhi moving into a bigger division, and other wrestlers moving weight classes, so Fousel definitely had a challenge.
“An athlete like Nate comes around about every 15 years or so at this size of high school, he’s really talented, a super nice guy, highly intelligent, works really hard, and he’s definitely a great wrestler,” said Collins.