SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — All the hard work Nick Carr put in during the offseason has paid off in December.
The senior wrestler placed first in the 170 lb. weight class at the Lackawanna League Tournament on Dec. 12 then, despite dropping down to the 160 lb. weight class, won the Tunkhannock Kiwanis Tournament Dec. 29-30.
Carr has won his first 14 matches, including 12 by pinfall.
“Nick is a very well-rounded wrestler,” Abington Heights head coach Steve Peters said. “He’s put in so much work in the offseason and has been dominant so far. He’s really only had one close match and it was his first time going down a weight class. He’s great on his feet and never stops working. You can’t ask for anything more.”
Peters believes Carr’s workout regimen has played a big role in his increased success this season.
“He’s a heck of a lot stronger than he was last year,” Peters said. “He’s put in a lot of mat time over the summer and things have clicked. I think his strength and being a year older has a lot to do with it. He’s been able to make things work for him and not just hope they do.”
Carr, 18, has been heavily influenced by his two older brothers, Michael and Mat, who also excelled at Abington Heights.
“They inspired me and really taught me how to work hard,” Carr said. “Also, watching them showed me what I had to do to be as successful in the sport.”
Carr’s favorite aspect of wrestling is the mental and physical battle that comes with each match.
“The competition and drive to win is so much greater than in other sport, I think, because it’s so personal,” he said.
Carr advanced to the semifinals of the District 2 Class 3A Tournament and the third round of the consolation bracket of the North East Regional Tournament at the 152 lb. weight class last season.
Peters believes the Dalton resident has the skills to take the next step in the postseason this year.
“Hopefully he can win a district title, then it’s anybody’s game once you get to regionals,” Peters said. “But, I think if he walks out of districts with a gold medal, he’ll be well-seeded and will be looking good to make it to the state tournament in Hershey.”
After winning just nine matches as a freshman and 12 as a sophomore, Carr picked up 29 wins as a junior and has his eyes on a trip to states in his final high school season.
His ultimate goal is to place in the top four at the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Tournament.
“I want to win a district title and medal at states,” Carr said.
Nick, the son of John and Cecilia Carr, would like to attend Bloomsburg University and join the wrestling team next year. Mat Carr is currently a freshman member of the team at Bloomsburg.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.