Nome wrestling teams win Northern Conference tournament
By Lizzy Hahn
On May 12, 2021, the Nome-Beltz High School Wrestling team consisting of 16 Nanook wrestlers traveled to Kotzebue to compete in the Northern Conference Wrestling Tournament. Both the girls’ team and the boys’ team won regional champions with the girls’ team scoring a total of 108 points and the boys team scoring a total of 242.0 points.
When speaking about how the team performed, Nome Nanooks wrestling Coach Dudley Homelvig said, “We performed really, really well. I’d have to look back to see last time we had eight regional champs with the boys. It’s been a long time, 25, 30 years, kind of long time. All five girls each had a match and they each won their match, they’re all region champs.”
In order to compete during the pandemic, Homelvig said that the team had to jump through a lot of hoops. “We’d test weekly here,” he said. In addition to testing in Kotzebue again, they had to fill out several page long forms.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kotzebue and Barrow teams didn’t start practicing until almost a month after NBHS wresters had already begun; they just had two weeks of practice during May 15. “We just took advantage of the situation that we were allowed to start on time here,” said Coach Homelvig. “At the beginning it looked like we were going to be the only team in the region wrestling and show up at the state tournament kind of deal.” He said he was planning on a two-month wrestling camp to address things that he doesn’t get to teach in a normal year due to time constraints. “There’s a whole ton of things that I don’t normally get to teach. I started teaching those things this year and so it’s made them more complete wrestlers,” he said.
With state championships coming up, Katie Smith, the girls’ team captain, said, “Our team will do great regardless of the outcome. We have been working hard the past two months to get to where we are now. The matches we will face at state will definitely be tougher that what we are currently used to.” When talking about how COVID has impacted the competition, Smith said, “The competition has been different this year. A couple different factors play a role in this; our team has been practicing consistently over the past two months and other teams in our region just got approved to wrestle two weeks ago. Two weeks is not a lot of time to get into shape. A perfect example was when Kotzebue came down to Nome three weeks ago. They were struggling.”
State championships are scheduled for May 21-22 in Anchorage, Alaska.