LEC’s Boggs savors return
Riverside grad wants to win national title in senior season
Two seasons ago, Nick Boggs was a college wrestler on a roll.
As a junior at Lake Erie College in 2016-17, he went 30-10, was a national qualifier and placed fifth at the NCAA Division II tournament to earn AllAmerica honors.
For an encore last season ... he did an internship with a marketing company.
The Riverside graduate was a redshirt in 2017-18. He was not hurt, but he was jumping up a weight class from 149 to 157. His coaches felt that jump necessitated a year of adjustment. Also, Boggs needed to complete two internships to graduate. His redshirt season gave him the opportunity to complete one.
Boggs will graduate with a degree in legal studies and is in the process of applying to law school. But 201718 wasn’t just about academics for the redshirt senior. He still wrestled 40 matches, and equaled his 2016-17 mark of 30-10.
The big difference was Boggs was an unattached wrestler. He competed in tournaments the Storm competed at, and won five while wearing an Ohio national team singlet. He was basically a wrestler without a college attached to his name.
“It was not the same as being there with your team,” said Boggs. “I couldn’t travel with the team or stay in the same hotel. It’s nice to be back this year. I definitely missed it.”
The 22-year-old is back this season, and isn’t backing down. Boggs has bigtime goals in last go-round at LEC.
“The No. 1 goal is to be a national champion. I want to do it for myself, but I want to be the school’s first wrestling national champion.” — Lake Erie wrestler Nick Boggs
“The No. 1 goal is to be a national champion,” he said. “I want to do it for myself, but I want to be the school’s first wrestling national champion.”
It’s been an impressive start for Boggs. He’s 18-3 this season and ranked No. 10 nationally at 157. His three losses are against the Nos. 2, 5 and 9 ranked wrestlers in his weight class.
“I’m competing against the best in the nation,” said Boggs.
His redshirt season of 2017-18 consisted of getting bigger and stronger while staying active on the mat, but the former wasn’t easy.
“For me, it’s just hard putting on weight,” said Boggs. “I’m a bit quicker at 157, but I needed to get bigger and stronger. The best thing about last season there was no pressure.”
First-year Storm coach Jeff Breese inherited a solid lineup, and with Boggs as a redshirt senior he couldn’t be happier. He knew Boggs’ history coming in, and said it’s been fun coaching him.
“He’s already an AllAmerican, so there’s only one thing that’s left,” said Breese. “Win a national title.”
His coach said Boggs has the talent to deliver that, but Breese said it takes more than talent to make it happen.
“A lot of it comes with being self aware,” said Breese. “A lot of people say they want to be a national champion. Then someone tells them the work involved, then they really don’t want to do it. The work, that’s the mentality of a national champion.
“Honestly in Nick’s case, his mindset, mentality and toughness are far greater than his actual talent. He’s made himself talented.”
At Riverside, Boggs was a two-time state qualifier and was fifth in the state as a junior and sixth as a senior. The pursuit to be a champion is Boggs’ No. 1 goal, and he’s working tirelessly to make it happen.
“Going hard for a full seven minutes on the mat takes a lot of work,” he said.
Boggs will continue that pursuit when the Storm’s season resumes Jan. 20 with a home dual against Wheeling Jesuit. Soon after, the countdown begins to the postseason, which begins Feb. 23 with a Super Regional at West Liberty.
The national tournament is March 8-9 at the Wolstein Center in downtown Cleveland, where Boggs is hoping to make history if he can get there. At the rate he’s at, Boggs should be in good position to qualify and then perform in front of family and friends.
“It really would mean everything,” said Boggs of the thought of being a national champion. “Going out on a high note, that would be a great thing.”
“He’s already an All-American, so there’s only one thing that’s left.” — Lake Erie wrestling coach Jeff Breese, on Nick Boggs
Riverside graduate Nick Boggs is 18-3 this season as a redshirt senior for the Lake Erie College wrestling team.