The golden boys


Photo courtesy of Joel Adams

Junior Joel Adams celebrates his gold medal win, taking home the title in both freestyle and Greco-Roman.

Over the summer, many Patriot wrestlers made their way up to Fargo, North Dakota for the 2021 US Marine Corps Junior and 16U Nationals. There, junior Joel Adams dominated his competition, taking home gold in both freestyle and Greco-Roman, becoming only the second 16-year-old to do so.

“It was truly amazing because I was only the second person ever to win both as a 16-year-old,” said Adams, “so it felt like I could really do this cause, you know, my goal is to make it to the Olympics and wrestle Division 1, so when I kind of had that surge right there and did big things out on the mat, it kind of helped me realize that the consistent work that I’ve been putting in throughout these years was just finally starting to payoff. It also made me feel really grateful to my friends, my family, and most definitely my coaches because without them, I couldn’t have been able to achieve that.”

Also bringing home a championship title for the Patriots was senior Tyler Antoniak, winning gold for 145 in junior men’s Greco-Roman.

“It was super exciting,” Antoniak said. “I was able to see all my friends and family right after, and it was just super exciting and relieving to know that all my hard work had finally paid off.”

To have 2 national champions at Millard South is something of its own, but Adams and Antoniak aren’t the only ones competing at such a high level. Many more Patriots wrestled in Fargo, giving Millard South a head start as the winter season quickly approaches.

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“It’s super incredible, having such a large representation of Millard South at a national meet,” Adams said. “[Senior] Antrell [Taylor] wrestled in the age group above me, and that’s a harder age group, and he battled out and took home 5th in 160, and Miles Anderson, a sophomore, he ended up getting 6th in 113 out there too. To have that many guys in the Millard South lineup place at such a high-level tournament, it kind of sets the tone for this year, it sets the expectation. We mean business, we always mean business. We’re coming back, and we’re going to try our best and secure another title. We had a freshman up there too, wrestling in Greco. He didn’t do how he wanted, but he’s already made great strides since Fargo, so he’s going to be a strong force out there on the mat as well. Especially Tyler, cause he won it as well, it kind of sets us out at the front of the pack because we’re both able to compete at a high level, we’re both able to compete under pressure. It felt really good and I’m definitely proud of my other guys.”

Millard South has one of the most embellished and respected wrestling teams in the state, ranking among the best in the nation. Made up of some of the best wrestlers in the country, there is no doubt they will be back to defend their state title one again.