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Wrestling: Novara, Pin Cancer Night a hit at Longmont

Thompson Valley, Broomfield also join in the cause in triangular meet

  • Broomfield High School's Owen Moss wrestles Thompson Valley's Nathan Nadolsky in a 106-pound match during a Pin Cancer Night wrestling meet on Thursday in Longmont. (Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer)

  • Longmont High School's Logan Novara works to pin Thompson Valley's Mike Black in a 113-pound match during a Pin Cancer Night wrestling meet on Thursday in Longmont. (Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer)

  • Longmont High School's Bini Brila wrestles Thompson Valley's Titus Juergensen in a 120-pound match during a Pin Cancer Night wrestling meet on Thursday in Longmont. (Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer)

  • Thompson Valley High School's Jacob Bierman wrestles Longmont's Eric Wagner in a 152-pound match during a Pin Cancer Night wrestling meet on Thursday in Longmont. (Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer)

  • Broomfield High School's Morgen Watt wrestles Thompson Valley's Ronan Bittner in a 195-pound match during a Pin Cancer Night wrestling meet on Thursday in Longmont. (Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer)

  • Longmont High School's Sam Adams, left, wrestles Thompson Valley's Jack Eichmiller in a 182-pound match during a Pin Cancer Night wrestling meet on Thursday in Longmont. (Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer)

  • Thompson Valley High School's Nathan Nadolsky tries to flip Broomfield's Owen Moss in a 106-pound wrestling match during a Pin Cancer Night wrestling meet on Thursday in Longmont. (Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer)

  • Broomfield High School's Tyler Carpenter wrestles Thompson Valley's Sage Gavin in a 285-pound match during a Pin Cancer Night wrestling meet on Thursday in Longmont. (Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer)

  • Broomfield High School's Braden Robbins gets pinned by Thompson Valley's Titus Juergensen in a 120-pound match during a Pin Cancer Night wrestling meet on Thursday in Longmont. (Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer)

  • Broomfield High School's Brian Walker wrestles Thompson Valley's Caleb Burton in a 220-pound match during a Pin Cancer Night wrestling meet on Thursday in Longmont. (Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer)

  • Longmont High School's Blake Kominski wrestles Thompson Valley's Ronan Bittner in a 195-pound match during a Pin Cancer Night wrestling meet on Thursday in Longmont. (Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer)

  • Thompson Valley High School's Titus Juergensen wrestles Longmont's Nini Brila in a 120-pound match during a Pin Cancer Night wrestling meet on Thursday in Longmont. (Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer)

  • Thompson Valley High School's Sage Gavin works to pin Longmont's Justin Sanger in a 285-pound match during a Pin Cancer Night wrestling meet on Thursday in Longmont. (Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer)

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LONGMONT — After his first win Thursday night, Longmont wrestler Logan Novara pulled off his headgear before heading to a dimly-lit hallway to slip a shirt over his singlet.

At the heart of a three-team dual between Longmont, Thompson Valley and Broomfield was a fundraiser for cancer research. Novara, almost making sure the spotlight didn’t focus on him, happened to be the face behind the cause that stretches far past any wrestling mat.

With the help of his parents, Novara formed a fundraiser through the national nonprofit Pin Cancer at Longmont High School for a second straight year. While having no personal story at the heart of his pursuit to fight the disease, he was eager to find a way that he and his teammates could help.

“I know there’s a lot of people personally affected by it, their family and friends,” Novara said. “I thought it would be cool to do this because, I don’t know, cancer just hits different.”

Novara, who set up a personal fundraising page through the organization a year ago, recruited his wrestling team to set up a page of its own. Led by the Novara family, the Trojans then held Pin Cancer Night in a dual against Skyline last year before expanding the event to a three-team match this winter.

“It’s been great,” Longmont coach Matt Engelking said. “I’m pleased he brought it to the table, him and his parents. They talked to me when they started it, and I said ‘Hey, why not?’ and we ran with it.”

On Thursday, Logan’s mom, Tami Novara, operated the table where spectators could buy shirts and rubber ducks to throw for a donated prize with proceeds going for the cause. All three teams wore special “Pin Cancer” singlets.

The Trojans had raised around $600 this season, Tami said — and that’s before all the proceeds from the event. Asked about what motivated her son to lead the charge, she grinned, his eyes widened. The look of a proud mom.

“It’s something he just feels passionate about,” she said. “There’s no specific reason, he just has a heart for helping people less fortunate and who need help.”

Novara, the second-ranked wrestler in the Class 4A 106s, per Tim Yount’s On The Mat rankings, aptly began his night with a pin over Thompson Valley’s Mike Black in the second period of 113s.

“Definitely wanted to get a pin out there,” he said. “Thought that’d be cool.”

Thompson Valley won both duals to claim the overall win (66-9 over Longmont and 50-19 over Broomfield). Broomfield, ranked fourth in 4A, beat the Trojans (10th) 57-24 as both area programs wrestled without a chunk of their varsity lineup.

Novara had a pin and won by forfeit for Longmont, while Brayden Engelking (ranked second in 4A 160s) went 1-1 with a pin. Returning state champ Darren Green (first 145s) won by major decision and forfeit for Broomfield. Ryan Vigil (second in 126s), Bryant Walker (first in 220s) and Tyler Carpenter (second in 285s) each added two wins.