2012-13 Dispatch/Argus Area Wrestler of the Year: Mercer County's Zach Nelson

Posted Online: March 03, 2013, 9:52 pm
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By Daniel Makarewicz, danmak@qconline.com
Two losses set this up.

Craving a state championship, Mercer County 152-pound senior wrestler Zach Nelson had to endure two painful losses. Both happened in consecutive state championship bouts, with the second ending an undefeated season.

When it came time to reflect on the state championship he recently earned, Nelson said may not have happened without those two losses.

"It definitely motivated me to work harder," Nelson said. "I had to move forward and improve in everything."

What followed was a 45-0 season, highlighted by the Class 1A state championship. Nelson became the first Mercer County wrestler to win a state title, following that by being named the Area Wrestler of the Year by The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus.

-You showed some emotions after winning your state title. What was that moment like?
"It was all a blur. During the match, I was just wrestling. All of a sudden, the ref called the pin. I didn't know what to do."

-What was your favorite memory this season?
"Winning state. It was awesome. I'd never felt that before."

-Within the last 12 months, you won a football state title and an individual wrestling state title. Which accomplishment is the proudest?
"I was kind of picked to win wrestling. In football, everybody doubted us. I would say the football state championship."

-What is it like being an undefeated state champion?
"It's awesome that no one can say they beat me this year."

-Would you change anything about your wrestling career?
"I would have definitely worked harder after beating Bahrs (Sterling Newman's Brian Bahrs, who beat Nelson in the 2012 Class 1A 152-pound title bout) twice during the season, making sure it didn't come down to the last 15 seconds."

-What's next in your career?
"I want to look at some colleges and take a lot of visits (for wrestling). I want to pick what's best for me. My main focus is not letting anyone influence me."


Local events heading

  Today is Wednesday, July 30, the 211th day of 2014. There are 154 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: After Sept. 1, every small box of matches will be required to have a 3 cent duty Lincoln stamp on it, and every large box will be one cent for every 100 matches.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Rock Island residents had contributed a total of $1,293 to the American Red Cross for the Johnstown flood relief fund.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Capt. Clark Means, new darkhorse twirler for the ARGUS staff, was in great form in his initial contest as a mound laborer. The result was that THE ARGUS trimmed the Union 6-5.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Hunter and Humprey Moody, young Decatur, Ill, brothers, lack only a few hours of establishing a new world light plane endurance record.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Gates of the 110th annual Mercer County Fair swing open tonight at Aledo for a full week of day and night activity. More that $36,000 will be paid in premiums and race purses.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The baseball field carved out of the cornfield near Dyersville, Iowa, continues to keep dreams alive for hundreds of visitors. Tourists from 26 state and France have visited Dan Lansing's farm to see the baseball diamond seen in the hit movie "Field of Dreams."

(More History)