Sometimes its tough being a fifth-grade wrestler at Riley Creek Middle School in Gold Beach, even if you are the reigning undefeated champion in your first season in the Farwest League.
First, you have to understand that Nolan Timeus comes from a wrestling family. His father, Tony, wrestled at GBHS a few decades ago and brother, Landen, just finished up his season at the O.S.A.A. State Wrestling Championships in Portland. So, it is not entirely surprising these two siblings living room rug tends to resemble a non-stop Twister game.
Then there's the biting. Biting?
As Nolan climbed the ladder of 27 wins against no losses this year he didn't expect to encounter his most difficult challenge, for a couple of reasons, during the championship round held at Siuslaw Middle School recently.
There, Timeus made his stand to defend his winning ways when he came face-to-face, make that face-to-leg, in his sudden-death overtime victory over a Marshfield kid whose name will remain anonymous but whose nickname is...Chomper. Timeus picks up the story:
"We were wrestling and I was attempting to put him into one of my favorite moves, the Saturday Night Ride, when I felt Chomper bite down on my leg."
Nolan says, "I couldn't believe it he actually bit me but after I beat him I checked and sure enough there were two full-on bite marks."
Chomper was later disqualified from the competition for chewing on his opponents.
Timeus’ dental dilemma actually places him in good company. Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield twice in a championship bout nipping off part of Holyfield's ear and during the 2014 World Cup Uruguay soccer player, Luis Suarez bit an Italian player on the shoulder.
These days the grappling fifth grader has his eye on a state championship when eventually becomes a Gold Beach Panther in a few short years. The Curry youth though is finding it increasingly difficult to get some competition. It is a matter of fact, and not one of bragging bravado.
According to his coach, Waylon Somers, who has been named the Farwest Coach of the Year by 13 of his peers, the assessment is accurate.
"He (Nolan) works very hard, pays attention, and has a no-quit attitude staying after when everyone has quit to be the best he can possibly be...he is 75 pounds of fight and fury."
That determination to succeed has left the rest of his class behind and nowadays, he takes the mat against sixth, seventh, and even occasional eighth-grade opponents.
The relationship between coach and student has been good on both sides.
Timeus says Somers has stayed with the program when others have left it.
"He (Coach Somers) makes it fun and is very knowledgeable," he said, adding "He pushes me to do more, to get the most out my practices and that makes me better."
Somers, for his part, says he receives no money for his program from the school, bankrolling the entire effort himself, taking his wrestlers in his vehicle across the state to their matches. It costs him personally but he thinks Nolan and his other wrestlers are worth it.
"It would be nice if there was money available for the sport but unfortunately it's not in the budget."