December 7, 2007

Norwell Wrestler Ranked 2nd

Norwell has a new wrestling coach this year, John Heller, out of Heritage... and Norwell senior wrestler, Hunter Harper, is ranked 2nd in the state.

"It's probably been around 25 years since I got beat by a high school guy," Heller said. "And I get beat by (Harper) every time. He doesn't like to lose. I am much smaller in size, and it is hard to even score a point against him. When I do, though, he gets upset at that. He just has a tremendous will to win."

Harper (7-0), ranked No. 2 in the state, was sixth at last year's state finals.

"I take a drive to win from the state finals," Harper said. "I don't like to lose or even give up points, even in practice. You compete in practice like you do in a real match. If I don't win in practice, I won't win in a match."

Heller wrestles with Harper because finding competition, both in and out of practice, isn't always easy for Harper.

"We just don't have too many people on the team to work with him," Heller said. "That could hurt him, but we'll see at the end of the year."

Harper said he sometimes works with outside sources like former Norwell wrestlers, which helps his preparation.

And even during matches and tournaments, opponents are hard to come by for Harper. Twice during the recent Huntington North tournament, potential opponents were to report in to go against Harper and ended up forfeiting their matches.

"They stand beside him and don't want to go out," Heller said. "I guess other coaches don't want to get their guys hurt. That shows the respect other people give him."

Harper sees it differently.

"I think it is ridiculous," he said. "I know the two teams at Huntington had two wrestlers at 215."

Good luck guys!

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