By Colin Anderson
Nolan Randles, Senior
Coeur d’Alene High School
Nolan Randles loves to wrestle. The Coeur d’Alene High School senior has placed in the state tournament each of the past three years and hopes to do so yet again in his final season as a Viking.
It’s one of the most challenging sports to train for and compete in, and a quote that keeps Nolan motivated is from legendary wrestling coach Dan Gable: “Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.”
Nolan trains hard six days a week while also preparing mentally and adhering to a strict diet to maintain his weight class. While Nolan takes the physical training very seriously, he believes the sport is 99 percent mental and describes it as a chess match meeting a street brawl. “It is the articulate and calculated attempt at completely manhandling an opponent and, let me tell you, there are very few thrills such as that out there,” he stated.
Putting the onus and responsibility on one’s self is very appealing to Nolan. If you mess up in wrestling, teammates cannot be blamed. Getting your mind in a good place and maintaining focus is something he continues to focus on each day. “Naturally, it has been an up-hill battle to overcome my own self-doubt and learning to respect, but fear, nothing and no one. Working is easy, anyone can do that, however, practicing discipline in dieting while engaging in the hardest sport on earth six days a week is no easy task,” he said.
Nolan explains that it’s not only the dieting but the one-on-one of the sport that’s unlike anything else. You learn to adapt to a kill or be killed mentality balanced into a controlled and methodical mindset, all the while wrestling one’s own demons and self-doubt, which he believes takes a very special breed of person.
Nolan very much enjoys the mental challenges of the sport and would like to pursue the study of the mind further after high school. He wants to wrestle at the college level and study psychology, with the intent to potentially become a psychiatrist. “I want to go into psychiatry because growing up I always wanted to eventually be in a job where I could help people. As odd as it sounds, I wanted a job where I would do everything in my power to help someone and then I would hope to never have to see them again. I always found a certain ironic beauty in the thought.”
The Idaho state wrestling tournament will be held February 26 and 27.
Jace Bowman, Senior
Lake City High School
Photo by Cheryl Nichols Photography
One of the biggest challenges that Lake City High School senior Jace Bowman has overcome is a series of knee injuries he suffered over the course of four years. “Before this, life had come pretty easily. School came easy, and I grew faster than all my friends, so sports weren’t too much of a challenge either,” Jace admitted. “When I injured my knees, it made me take a look at myself deep down and find that desire and that drive to be one of the best and get back to playing the sports I love.”
All told, Jace suffered three injuries which required five surgeries, months on crutches and in wheelchairs, and about two years’ worth of rehab and physical therapy. “The reason I was able to overcome these injuries is because I wanted to prove to myself that I can do hard things.”
His determination showed up in a big way as Jace was honored as a first team All-Inland Empire League selection at linebacker and was also named captain of the football team for his senior season. Along with the extensive physical therapy and commitment to athletics, Jace also carries himself very well in the classroom. He maintains a GPA above 4.0 and has achieved a letter/pin in academics twice.
Jace has truly enjoyed his two favorite sports, football and basketball, and though he doesn’t plan on playing at the collegiate level, he can look back fondly at his career at Lake City. “The thing that I love the most about both, but especially basketball, is the energy and the way that all of us are able to feed off of each other's intensity. It makes the games a lot more fun to play in and watch as well.”
Jace plans on attending Boise State University this fall. He wants to begin tackling pre-med requirements there before moving onto a medical school. “Some of my career interests include dermatologist, pharmacist, orthodontist or dentist. I have many family members that have gone through these medical paths, so it is somewhat familiar to me,” he said.
He is sure to bring the lessons he learned both on the field and recovering from injury into the next phase of his life. “One thing that I have learned from sports is that hard work is necessary no matter what you are trying to pursue. Whether it be a state title, a promotion at your job, or anything else; hard work is the only way to achieve your goals,” said Jace.