Wrestlers transition from high school to college at NIACC

By David Wade
Introduction to Journalism Student
April 10, 2018

Every year, many kids struggle with the transitioning from different levels of wrestling. The same was true this year at NIACC with a new group of guys who thought they were ready to compete at the next level. 

“It’s a different level, so you definitely see a different drive with the kids,” said wrestling coach Steve Kelly when asked about the difference between high school wrestlers vs. college. “Some find out that they aren’t willing to give it the time it needs, and they don’t last long.” 

One particular athlete, Nick Lemmon, found a huge culture shock. “The transition was a drastic change from being in the starting lineup for four years and then coming into college not even really feeling like I had a chance to be in the lineup,” said Lemmon when asked about the transition. Lemmon was a star athlete at West Hancock, however he failed to win a match in his first year at NIACC. 

Lemmon isn’t discouraged by this; actually, he is inspired to do better. He learned a lot this year, and one of his favorite quotes by the coach alludes to this change. “Every college match is as tough or tougher than the hardest high school match.”-Steve Kelley. 

Another NIACC wrestler, Julian Giustiniano, faced much harder struggles this season. Giustiniano is an international student from Australia. “It’s a bit of a rule change, wrestling in this country,” said Giustiniano. “I could, but I won’t use that as an excuse though.”

In Australia, Giustiniano was well known for being one of the best, but when he arrived at NIACC, he found more competition. “It’s a very competitive culture, and it’s fantastic I love it. Some people might be bitter and give up, thinking ‘Oh, all these guys are so much better than me, why should I try?’ but honestly, I like it, and I look at it as my goal. I just need to work and work and I’ll be on that level eventually.” 

Iron sharpens iron, and it’s this transition that these athletes will never forget. They could use this as an excuse and quit, or they can build on it and grow to the levels they want. It’s clear that this year’s group of men have a good view on this move. 

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