Powering to first

How Millard West earned another Wrestling title


Photo courtesy Noah Blair.

For sophomore Noah Blair, so much time and effort was put into his state run, both mentally and physically. In his Instagram bio, a simple message. #LLAS. “LLAS is for a buddy of mine who passed away this past season,” Blair said. “Him and I grew up wrestling together and competing against each other.” With the motivation to win it for his friend, Blair’s story will surely be one for people to look up to for years to come.

Logan Moseley, Striv co-Executive Director

Millard West’s legacy of wrestling runs deep. Wrestlers like Harrison Phillips, Camden Russell and Jack Huffman all have state titles under their belt. Paving the way for future Wildcats to hoist the bracket card is 182 pound sophomore Noah Blair.

Blair has been on the mat since fifth grade, and has shown no signs of stopping. While the sport as a whole is quite physically demanding, Blair has put an emphasis on maintaining his body both mentally and physically.

“I have become smarter in not breaking my body,” Blair said. “I do a lot of mental and motivational workouts and exercises. Just remember why you started and the mission can and will take time to unravel.”

Blair’s path to a State title was complicated before getting into the start of the season. Early in the season, he struggled with a leg injury and illness, resulting in loss of strength. Now add on making weight, it puts a toll on his body. But through it all, Blair managed to thrive. 

“It can be hard to make weight,” teammate Logan Gutierrez said. “It just depends on what you need to reach each week. The hardest part is keeping a strict diet and eating healthy foods.”

But just like with every sport, coaches make a big impact on a players development, and wrestling head coach Scott Townsley has played his role in Blair’s win. He previously coached players like Harrison Phillips and Camden Russell, who both won a State title under Townsley’s staff.

“I was excited for him.” Townsley said. “Knowing all his hard work paid off. I think he will go down as one of the best from Millard West.”

While Blair’s regular season had its own adversity, his postseason run was littered with top talent to beat. It started with a win over Lincoln East’s Caleb Schwerdtfeger in the initial duel. He then upset the one seed in his starting bracket, defeating Lincoln Pius X’s Joe Andreasen.

Asserting his presence in the first two matches were key to build on the momentum that carried over in yet another one seed, this time in Gretna’s Cameron Cunningham, who had a regular season record of 42-4, tied best in the bracket. 

In the finals, he battled a familiar foe from just down the street, Millard South’s Caeden Olin. With the renewed rivalry of the Battle of Q-Street Blair eked out a victory. As the underdog in his final two matchups, Blair completed the A182 bracket, and his first ever state title. 

With two more years still left, the sky’s the limit for your A182 champ, Noah Blair.