Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley

Student-Athlete of the Week: Nathan Hemenway


January 19, 2018

Photo by Jocelyn Rowley Senior and four-year wrestler Nathan Hemenway.

Niwot senior Nathan Hemenway is only 85 percent of the wrestler he was last year, and that’s just the way he likes it.

As a junior, Hemenway wrestled in the 195-pound weight class, up 25-30 pounds from his sophomore weight of 170. After just moderate success at the heavier weight, he elected to shed the extra pounds and return to the lighter classification ahead of his fourth and final season.

“I was being kind of stupid in how I was managing my weight,” he explained of the decision to return to the smaller class. “I thought. ‘I’ll just eat all this food and get really strong.’ Instead, I just got kinda fat. So I decided to diet down and start working out.”

That decision has paid off for the senior. So far this season, he has posted wins in three out of four conference duals, the most recent over Alejandro Castenada of Centaurus on Jan. 11. At the Gary Daum Memorial Invite, held Jan. 6 at Niwot, Hemenway reached the consolation semi-finals and earned six team points for the Cougars.

“I’ve seen a lot of maturity in Nathan this year,” said head coach Bobby Matthews of the only four-year member of Niwot’s wrestling team. “He has a different approach, and he’s working. His leadership has definitely been better. He became a captain this year, and he’s done it through hard work.”

Hemenway is certainly no stranger to hard work. Last month, he achieved the esteemed Eagle Scout rank for his long years of service with Niwot Boy Scout Troop 161. To attain the BSA’s highest ranking, Hemenway held three leadership positions, earned 27 merit badges and completed a community service project to improve Niwot’s softball field.

“For me, leadership was the hardest part,” he said. “I was always pretty quiet and reserved, but I’ve gotten over it, and I think becoming an Eagle Scout helped. Wrestling helped too.”

Matthews agreed with Hemenway’s assessment of the Eagle Scout program, and added that scouting helps develop patience, discipline, and long-term thinking.

“It’s not overnight success,” he said. “You have to put in the hours to achieve something, and that goes hand in hand with athletics.”

Hemenway credits the skills and work ethic he developed in both scouting and wrestling for his success in the classroom. Last semester, he earned a 4.167 GPA with a course-load of both traditional and AP classes. He counts math, economics, and government as his favorite subjects. As of now, his post-graduation plans are still up in the air, but he hopes to attend CU or CSU.


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