Injury leaves state hopes for senior wrestler questionable

The wrestling team is without undefeated senior Nick Pearch while he recovers from an injury, which he said is a separation of the clavicle and sternum. Pearch was State runner-up last year and won the 215-pound division at the Bobcat Classic on Jan. 16.

“It takes an undefeated wrestler out of our lineup every week,” coach Jason Peres said. “As far as wrestling goes, when we compete in duals or tournaments, when you have a kid like that he scores a lot of points. It’s hard for us to compete on a team level without it.”

Pearch injured himself playing dodgeball after practice.

“I’ve gotten a lot of crap for it because it was from dodgeball,” he said. “Pretty much 100 times a day someone asks me when I’m coming back. It’s kind of annoying but I guess it’s good that people care.”

Peres said Pearch’s injury affects more than himself, as the team is out a leader.

“Nick is really a leader for the team, older kid, high-skilled,” Peres said. “That’s like taking a leader out of your team. The way I see it, when you have a good leader, you have a good practice. He tries to lead by example though. He still goes to practice and just kind of watches and helps the other guys, so the other guys are like ‘He’s working hard, so I can work hard.'”

Despite Pearch remaining a leader, the team does not have another wrestler to fill Pearch’s vacated spot on the mat.

“We have a few guys we could bump up, but no one who naturally fits into that weight,” Peres said.

This is not a long-term issue, as Pearch plans on wrestling at Regionals in three weeks, regardless of his injury.

“I will definitely be back (for regionals),” he said. “If it still hasn’t healed, but it isn’t gonna kill me, I can take the pain. I’ll suck it up.”

Peres said conditioning is the major problem trying to wrestle after three weeks out.

“Nick’s wrestled his whole life, so the wrestling aspect is pretty solid,” he said. “What he’s going to have to do is run and maybe work on the bike.”

Pearch said he hasn’t let up on his conditioning, but he is a bit disheartened.

“I think he’s tried to keep a positive attitude,” Peres said. “But this is his senior year. This is a kid who really enjoys the sport of wrestling and the injury is taking him away from what he loves.”

by Ryan O’Toole