The Stampede


“Started from the bottom now we’re here”- Drake

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Nathan Hefner

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For many high school athletes, making the varsity squad is the biggest accomplishment of their high school career but for some that is not enough.  There are the few that push for more, strive for greatness, and defy odds. Zakayya Nichols is one of the few that are willing to push harder than anyone else to achieve greatness.  In this past month, Zakayya placed fourth at the state meet for wrestling. That means she made it past MEL’s, Sections, and Masters. That’s three level of competition that are not only hard to get to but nearly impossible for any athlete.  Fortunately she had the talent and the determination to make it to state.


Teammate Anton Sta Maria commented on her success saying, “She is just a pure, raw athlete.  She is one of those people that will be good no matter what.” She herself even said that her natural ability as an athlete is what allowed her to perform at such a high level.  


At the State competition she faced many other athletes that were bigger, stronger, and more technically sound that her, but she didn’t back down.  Coming in as a underdog only gave her more of a reason to prove herself. She said that the first time she faced on of the best wrestlers she lost, but she was determined to beat her.  She did exactly that. Zakayya beat her in order to secure an impressive 4th position at the state level.


As supporters for our athletes we sometimes don’t know the full extent of what they have done.  Let me put it into perspective. There is not another wrestler in the MEL that placed in the state level like Zakayya did.  That’s right she is the only one out of all the girls in all six schools! So next time we see Zakayya around school we should give her a high five.

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