DENVER — As good as he has been all season long, Longmont senior Nathan Morris had history to contend with on top of the best wrestling competition Colorado could throw at him at his senior state tournament.
At the Pepsi Center on Saturday night, Morris battled as best he could in the Class 4A 152-pound state championship match. Eventually, he fell 13-0 to Pueblo County senior Hunter Willits, who became just the 20th wrestler in Colorado preps history to win four state titles.
After giving everything he had in the historic match, Morris will look back on his own senior campaign as one to remember.
"I'm glad to have wrestled against him," Morris said. "He's one of those wrestlers who only comes along once in a while. I'm proud of my performance and I'm really proud of my senior season. I really worked hard for this and I think I got what I deserved."
Taking home the silver, Morris (40-6) placed higher than he had in any previous season. He placed fourth at 152 pounds his junior year. In fact, it was Willits (45-2) who beat Morris in the state semifinals last season.
"We've met here before," Willits said. "It went the full three periods last year and it went the full three periods this year. I knew I had to keep my focus because it's never over until it's over when you're wrestling Nathan Morris. He's just a tough kid, man. I tip my hat to him."
Ranked second in 4A all season by On the Mat, Morris wore high socks with pugs on them on Saturday night. The gesture was in remembrance of Longmont science teacher and coach Jared Sommervold, who was killed in a car accident in September.
"He was a close friend of mine and a great coach, and he said he would wear pug socks to my finals match," Morris said. "I was just thinking of him."
With sophomore teammate Drake Engelking placing third in the 160-pound weight class, the Trojans finished with 36 team points despite qualifying just two wrestlers and finished in the top 20 of the team scoring.