The Saratoga Sun -

Meet the team: HEM Wrestling


February 21, 2018

Mike Arms

Robbie Marta

Robbie Marta

Robbie Marta has lived in Hanna for three years and is a senior. He has been wrestling since coming to Wyoming. Marta was born in Colorado and went to school in Denver South–a large 4A school. His family moved to Wyoming for a job in Sinclair. He lived in Nucla, Colo. which is on the Western slope. He lived there for four to five years and he considers himself a small town guy.

"We always went back to the Western Slope because that is where my dad's family is from," Marta said. "We love hunting and fishing, so small towns have always been in my life, even though I can remember being made fun of because I wore cowboy boots while I went to school in Denver."

Marta said his father wrestled in school and was good. "My Dad was a great wrestler and he was a really big influence in me deciding to go out for wrestling."

Marta said his father let him gravitate to wrestling naturally and never pushed him to take up the sport.

He did not try out for wrestling in Colorado, but when he came to Hanna, he wanted to try out in the sport his father had excelled at.

Once Marta decided to go out for wrestling in 10th grade, he said his father was pleased.

"As someone who never pushed me to the sport, he liked that I was following his footsteps and that I actually wanted to follow his footsteps," Marta said. "I have to also give a shout out to my mother. She has always been there for me, good times, bad times."

Marta said on paper he wrestles at 126 pounds, but he is trying to bulk up to 132 pounds.

He is planning to go to college in Casper for two years after he graduates and then transfer to the University of Alabama. His father went to Alabama.

His most memorable moment in wrestling was his first win.

"I have never been a great wrestler and I didn't have a lot of experience, so when I won, it was a big deal to me," Marta said.

He said coach Lyle Richardson has helped him tremendously in the sport.

"I really consider him one of the best coaches in school," Marta said. "He is always there, even outside of school and even if it is not about wrestling. I have to say, you may give up on yourself, but he is never going to give up on you."

Nathan Roberts

Nathan Roberts was born in Wyoming and has lived in Hanna for 13 years. He has been wrestling since he was in sixth grade.

"I just wanted to try a sport back then and see how I would like it," Roberts said.

He said his biggest inspiration to go into wresting was his uncle.

"Uncle Frank was a wrestler in high school and he is one of the biggest influences in my life, so it was natural for me to go into wrestling."

Roberts is in 11th grade and says when he graduates, he wants to get a job to earn money so he can pay for a trade school.

"I know, by the time I graduate and work a little, I will have a better idea of what exactly I want to study," Roberts said.

He said his most memorable experience in wrestling happened last year.

"I was at State and won a match," Roberts said, "It was amazing being in front of all those people and winning."

Roberts wrestles at 126 pounds and is happy with his coach's words of encouragement when he wrestles.

"Coach Richardson inspires me and my teammates to do well," Roberts said. "His whole attitude is always supportive."

Adrian King

Adrian King is in ninth grade and wrestling for the first time. He has lived in Elmo (the town has been incorporated with Hanna) for three years.

He was born in Denver, but lived in Baggs for the early years of his life. The next place he moved to was Rawlins where most of his elementary education was attained, although he did spend a little time in Douglas and Sinclair. In seventh grade he moved to Elmo.

He likes going to school at HEM versus any other place he has lived.

King credits his mother for getting him interested in wrestling.

"She told me if I didn't get into a sport, I would be grounded," King laughed. "Also I have friends that also encouraged me to try it."

King is lanky and tall at 6' 3", but was not interested in basketball. Wrestling was his first choice and although he doesn't have a lot of wins, he knows he has to be patient and learn from experience.

"It has boosted my confidence as I continue to go out and learn, even if I don't win," King said. "My best memory in wrestling this year so far was when I got hit in the face with a crossover."

King said he actually has been hit in the face a couple times but, when it happens, he realizes he can take pain and works past the initial shock to continue wrestling in a match. He wrestles at 126 pounds.

King has praise for his coaches.

"Coach Lyle (Richardson) is awesome and a lot of fun," King said. "Coach Riddle I have known for three years as my teacher."

Jon Nelsen

Jon Nelsen is a senior and has been wrestling since eighth grade. He was born in Salt Lake City, but moved to Carbon County in his early years. He considers himself a Carbon County guy.

He said his father introduced him to the idea of trying wrestling when he was in eighth grade and got a first place medal, but it was his second year he found wrestling a sport he really enjoyed.

Nelsen went to state in ninth grade and said it was somewhat overwhelming to be wrestling in front of so many people. He said that ninth grade might have been more difficult in who he wrestled versus eighth grade, but the challenge made him enjoy the sport more.

Nelsen said he has pinned other wrestlers with success by getting an opponent in a cradle which leads to a pin.

"I learned that move in my first year and I have just gotten more experienced with time to where it works for me a lot," Nelsen said. "I think my best memory was when I was wrestling someone really good in 10th grade and he had me at 14 to zip. Then I chose top and got him in a cradle and pinned him."

He credits Thatcher Speiring, a wrestler who was older, as inspiring him to keep trying harder.

"Thatcher was so strong, he would throw me around like a rag doll," Nelsen said. "I told myself I was going to train hard to be as strong as him and this year, I think I am there."

Nelsen has beat his pin record of l1 pins last year. This year he has 13 pins.

"I have a pretty good coach and he understands the goals I have set for myself," Nelsen said. "He doesn't just coach us through wrestling matches, he pushes us through them and I should say he does that outside of wrestling. He wants us to work as we can in life, so we can benefit ourselves."

Nelson knows when he is on the mat, he wants to win and he has to be aggressive,

"I get on the mat and I focus on winning," Nelson said. "I am not going to let some stupid pain stop me from my goal, which is beating the guy I am wrestling."

Nelsen wrestles at 170 pounds.

When he graduates this year, he plans to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Nick McDaniel

Nick McDaniel is in 10th grade. He has lived in Carbon County for 15 years and he has been wrestling for almost six years.

"I was in USA wrestling when I was younger and I had friends encourage me to keep at it," McDaniel said. "I was told I was a good wrestler and I should continue going on the wrestling path, so I have."

He said the encouragement of his friends is not the only reason he has taken wrestling as serious as he has, but also the support of his family.

"Everyone in my family is someone to respect because they help others," McDaniel said. "My mom was an ambulance worker and went out on the highways helping people, because that is what she likes to do. My dad worked for the ambulance service too, so I saw through my parents how important it is too help others."

His family is large. He has six sisters and three brothers. McDaniel said his brothers are into sports too, so all give encouragement to each other.

He said there have been a couple memorable matches that he is proud to have come out on top but he is pleased with how he did at the Shatto Invite in January.

"This year I was up in Douglas and I was wrestling someone really good from Kelly Walsh," McDaniel said. "The first part of the match, I got a little hurt, but when coach asked if I was okay to continue, I said I was and when we had the third match, I got a pin."

McDaniel said he credits listening to his coach helping him get the win.

Mike Armstrong

Nathan Roberts

"I think Coach Lyle (Richardson) is one of the best coaches we have, because he pushes us to succeed and give our best in a match," McDaniel said. "He also does that outside the mat, plus he is really a nice guy and very respectful."

McDaniel said that Richardson helps work on weaknesses and strengths.

"He wants to help us improve and perfect our moves, so he is very encouraging when we are in our matches," McDaniel said. "That is what I really like most about Coach Lyle."

McDaniel wrestles at 145 pounds.

McDaniel said although he is still a couple years away from graduating, he plans to go to Sheridan College and wants to study either law or aerospace. If he opts for aerospace, his goal is to eventually be a pilot.


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