Emerald 126-pounder Nicholas Long grapples with Ware Shoals' Nate Hilley in the final round of the All-Lakelands Tournament on Monday at Emerald. Tied at 3 entering the final period, Long pulled away from Hilley to win 9-5, earning a spot on the All-Lakelands team.
(Andrew Macke | Index Journal)
Emerald 126-pounder Nicholas Long grapples with Ware Shoals' Nate Hilley in the final round of the All-Lakelands Tournament on Monday at Emerald. Tied at 3 entering the final period, Long pulled away from Hilley to win 9-5, earning a spot on the All-Lakelands team. (Andrew Macke | Index Journal)

The first time Nicholas Long competed against Ware Shoals High School's Nate Hilley, it was the Emerald first-year wrestler's first-ever live match against an opponent. And Hilley pinned the inexperienced Long, starting his wrestling career at 0-1.
Long got another shot at Hilley in the final round of Monday's All-Lakelands wrestling tournament at Emerald. This time, the result was significantly different.


Long pulled away from Hilley in the final period to win 9-5, clinching the All-Lakelands crown at 126 pounds. The win, along with his pin in his first match, gave Long a winning record on the year at 14-12.
"It feels great," Long said. "I've had a much better first year than I expected. I have a winning record right now, and I'm doing well."

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