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Five Star Performer: Nolan Laux
For this week's Five Star Performer sponsored by Aurora Cooperative, we hit the wrestling mat. We talk to a state championship hopeful who's in mid-season form and who's already not only focused on returning to the state tournament in February, but expects to bring home some hardware.
Wintertime at Hastings High School - that means the Tiger wrestling room will become a busy place. It already has been. One of the fiercest Tigers has been sophomore Nolan Laux.
As a freshman, Nolan challenged Grand Island's Dante Rodriguez in the state semi finals last year losing a narrow overtime decision to the eventual state champ.
At the recent Flatwater Fracas, Nolan won all seven matches, so he looks to be on his way again.
"This is the year to win it and that is just my goal and anything less would be kind of disappointing," Nolan said.
So that's a pretty ambitious goal. Nolan's father is also his head coach. Brian Laux was himself on that Tiger state championship wrestling team of a quarter century ago. Time have changed between now and then and so have the opportunities.
Nolan has traveled far and wide to face different competition and taking on all challengers.
"We've gone to Colorado, Missouri, Illinois, places like that," said Nolan.
"This year we wrestled at the Fall Brawl in Kansas City which is a nice tournament and then to the pre-season Nationals in Cedar Falls, Iowa," Brian said.
Think of the state wrestling tournament as the Olympics to Nolan Laux. Everywhere he's been and everything he's done he says will prepare him for what he hopes is a magic moment in February.
"Come in everyday and work hard up until that time," said Nolan.
"He loves the sport and I know he thinks about it everyday almost so hopefully great things happen for him and others on our team as well," said Brian.
Whomever Nolan faces at the state tournament it will not be Dante Rodriguez who has moved up in weight class, but if this season is any indication, we will again see Nolan back and this time wrestling for the championship in Omaha.
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