Marienfeld sets the bar high in wrestling and life.
Marienfeld, (pictured above) of Napoleon High School battles an opponent during a match at Clinton High School.
Photo, story by Jeff Steers
Exponent special writer
Napoleon High School wrestler Nick Marienfeld has set the bar high in life . . . on and off the wrestling mat.
The all-state wrestler from 2021 looks to be in a championship match in March of 2022 and would like to eventually become a lawyer.
But he is putting in the work to obtain the first goal.
Marienfeld spent the summer working out with Jackson High School wrestler Jaylon Riggins, attending Simmons Academy of Wrestling in Lansing, and being part of two wrestling camps.
Riggins finished third in the state in Division 1 a year ago at 160 pounds. The Jackson High School wrestler has a linebacker build but is shorter than most wrestlers Marienfeld will face this season at 160 pounds.
“Most of the wrestlers I see this year won’t be as good as him (Riggins),” Marienfeld said. “He gets the better of me most of the time, but it gives me a lot of confidence.”
Marienfeld finished fifth a year ago in Division 3 at 145 pounds. He finished second at the regional and district tournaments in 2021.
The Pirates could be one of the favorite teams in the Cascades Conference this season.
“We only graduated three wrestlers and have a lot more coming into the program,” Marienfeld said. “By the end of the season, we can get better and have a full squad.”
Hanover-Horton, Manchester, and Napoleon tied for the conference title last year with 6-1 records.
Marienfeld looks to lead the Pirates to district and regional success.
“We want to be at the state meet as a team,” Marienfeld said. “I would also like to win a state individual title at 160 pounds.”
The senior looks to wrestle in college with a number of NAIA and Division schools looking at Marienfeld.
“I haven’t made up my mind as far as where I want to go to college,” Marienfeld said.
He would like to study political science and eventually go to law school. Marienfeld knows it will be a long road, but experiences on the football field and wrestling mat will come in handy.
“Athletics teaches you hard work . . . and there is no more demanding a sport than wrestling,” Marienfeld said. “There are no excuses, and you are in control.”