Max Nash closed out his stellar Red Raider wrestling career recently with one final achievement, a state runner-up finish.
The Madison County senior won a dramatic 2-1 match over a wrestler from Alexander to advance to the finals in the Class AAAA 132 lb. weight class.
Nash said “just making it to the finals” was a great thrill. His coach, Ritchie Houston, agreed that advancing to the finals is a heck of an achievement.
“It was a great match and a great accomplishment to get to the finals,” said Houston who gave his star an emotional congratulatory hug after the semifinal win. “There’s all that pomp and circumstance (at the state meet). It’s a pretty cool thing.”
Nash said wrestling in the Macon Centreplex in front of thousands of fans was a great experience.
“It was just intense,” he said. “All these people are watching you and there are tons of fans screaming.”
Nash won his first two matches this past weekend by pin. He then got the victory in a tight semifinals match before falling 6-2 from a wrestler from Carrolton.
“That kid was solid,” said Houston.
Nash leaves Madison County with a region title, a state runner-up finish and the school record in total wins at 163. He recently topped Isaac Ruiz’s record of 157.
Nash said he knows Ruiz and some of the other standout wrestlers of recent years at MCHS. He said holding the MCHS wins record means a lot to him.
“It felt pretty good (to get the record),” said Nash. “I was on the same team with them when I was a freshman and sophomore and I looked up to them.”
Houston said Nash is now the figure that younger guys watch.
“Max has set a great example for the younger guys,” said the coach.
Nash’s high school wrestling career is over, but his wrestling days are far from done. The senior plans to wrestle at the next level and has gotten interest from several schools. He said he hopes to wrestle at Gardner-Webb, his coach’s alma mater. Nash said he appreciates all his parents and his coach have done for him.
“I just want to thank my parents for supporting me and being there for me,” said Nash. “And coach Houston for believing in me and teaching me everything I know.”