By Andrew Glover
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Last season, Nolan Boyd’s role on the Cowboys wrestling team didn’t have him wrestling in front of Oklahoma State’s raucous fans — in fact, most fans wouldn’t know he was on the team. As a redshirt freshman, Boyd worked out with then-senior 197-pounder Blake Rosholt during practice, to ready him for competition. Now, Boyd hopes to make his own name starting with the U.S. FILA Junior World Trials on Sunday in Gallagher-Iba Arena.
“I’m really excited especially since it’s at home,” Boyd said. “Getting to wrestle in front of our own fans and having everyone come out to support wrestling.”
Though he didn’t compete in duals, Boyd wrestled in tournaments last season and posted a 13-6 record. Boyd said Rosholt taught him a lot in practice and hopes to use that when he competes in the trials.
“(I learned to) stay tough,” Boyd said. “He is a very physical wrestler — not so much technique as he is mean and strong. Mainly toughened you up for years to come. Hopefully, he helped me get off bottom better because he is really good on top.”
During the summer, Boyd competed in the U.S. Open junior freestyle last April and the University Nationals last May. The redshirt freshman didn’t place in either tournament and said he’s going to face tough competition Sunday.
“There is going to be really tough guys,” Boyd said. “It’s going to be all the guys coming up and going to make a big splash in the college level.
The redshirt freshman said it’s been a fun experience being around some of the program’s successful wrestlers like 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Coleman Scott and two-time NCAA champion Jordan Oliver.
“I felt like being around those guys you get see new stuff that you haven’t seen before,” Boyd said. “It opens your eyes to a new level of wrestling that you can’t see anywhere else.”
Boyd said he hopes the trials brings more exposure to the sport, as its fighting to stay in the Olympics.
“It’s exciting to see it coming back,” Boyd said. “They tried to take it out but these wrestlers are too determined and not going to give up the fight to bring it back. It’s a sport you have to have a passion for to do. If you have a passion for it, you will fight for it.”