The Making of a State Wrestler: Nate Housholder

The Making of a State Wrestler: Nate Housholder

How does a wrestler know he has made it? For senior Nate Housholder it was being in the presence of 10,000 watchful eyes at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, walking in the “Parade of Champions” with his fellow wrestlers, and having the satisfaction of earning the opportunity to compete at the State Championship.  But a State wrestler is not created over night. It takes years of dedication and support, as well as a whole lot of heart, to achieve Housholder’s level of success as an athlete.

He started his wrestling career in sixth grade, but it wasn’t until his sophomore year in high school that Householder developed a “fire” for the sport. Greatly supported by his parents, he spent his summers traveling to wrestling camps in places such as Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. He became an advocate for off-season work and recognized that to stand apart from the other athletes, it takes practice outside of the high school season.

“You can’t expect to just come in to practice in November and be better than everyone else because the guys that really care and really want to be great didn’t take the time off over the summer,” Housholder states.

It was this mindset that drove Housholder to go above and beyond, and this mindset that earned him his wrestling success during high school. Housholder is a two-time conference champion for East Noble, and takes pride in being the first NE8 Champion. In his final season, a winter of tough matches, improvement, and a winning score of 8-4 at Semi State finally secured him his very own spot at the State competition, held at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. His “elusive” goal of making it to State was finally reached.

“I’ve been going down to the State Tournament as a spectator for quite a few years now, but finally being able to wrestle down there was an amazing experience and definitely one I won’t forget,” says Householder.

The State matches began on Friday night and ran into Saturday, but before the athletes hit the mats they were honored and introduced in the “Parade of Champions” that took place before the matches on Friday night. Housholder described the parade as “a little nerve racking,” to be watched by so many people, but found the experience cool nevertheless, and “wouldn’t trade the feeling for anything.”

After the ceremony was all seriousness as the best wrestlers in Indiana went head to head. Housholder was paired with Daylan Schurg from Crown Point in the 138 pound weight class. After a tough battle, Housholder lost by a pin in the 3rd period, ending his State run. Schurg went on to place 4th.

Looking back on his high school wrestling success and his ability to achieve his goal of making it to State, Housholder is only positive about his outcome. Coach Andrew Uhl took to twitter to relay his pride and support, saying “Great Season and great career. Proud to coach him,” while Athletic Director Nick David also tweeted, saying “Thanks for representing East Noble with nothing but class!”

Even though he alone won his great many matches, Housholder makes a point to give credit to the many people who got him to where he is today.

“I credit [my success] to a few people…” Housholder reveals. Among the list of people that he feels impacted him greatly during his wrestling journey are his older brothers, Zack and Tyler Housholder.

“They really opened my eyes and always had confidence in me that I could get to State,” he states as he recalls how his brothers recognized his great potential in the sport.

Housholder also credits Coach Ryan Pepple and Coach Uhl, putting particular emphasis on Coach Keith Hoffar, saying,

“[Hoffar] is truly an amazing coach and he is always supportive of his athletes. I have an unmeasurable amount of respect for him because whether you’re a first year wrestler or in your tenth year of wrestling, he is always willing to help you reach your goals and will do whatever it takes to help you succeed.”

Lastly, Nathan Housholder recognizes his parents who showed him”unwavering support” and “kept [him] in line” over the years.

“I remember times I would come home in tears because I thought I couldn’t do it anymore, but they were always there to talk some sense into me and keep me focused on my goals,” the athlete states.

To become a State wrestler it takes more than talent. For Housholder, it took summers of off-season work, a school and community’s worth of support, and a winner’s mindset that set him apart. His success story is one that will be inspiration to many young wrestlers, and athletes in general who will realize that to make it in their sport they have to be willing to go the extra mile, but most importantly, be hungry for the win.