Interviewed and Written by Gale Gai ’22
Varsity Wrestling – Hugo Nutting ’22
GG: Briefly describe your story with sports: what sports have you played?
HN: Ever since I’ve been really little, I played a little bit of everything. My parents wanted me to do everything. They’re Australian, so when I was a kid, I would play cricket and rugby on the weekends. I also played some soccer and lacrosse growing up, and then, obviously, wrestling.
GG: Why do you choose to do wrestling as a winter sport?
HN: I’ve been wrestling since second grade. My elementary school offered a wrestling tournament one winter, and I wrestled in my weight class and did pretty well. I also remember really loving it. So, every winter since then, I would always sign up for wrestling, and then I got a little bit more competitive and wrestled for clubs. In fact, wrestling is part of the reason why I chose Deerfield, because it has a wrestling program.
GG: How do you balance your time with school work and wrestling?
HN: Wrestling is really tiring, and I can be really exhausted after practice. I think that finding a balance like so many other Deerfield students try to do is important. This may mean some late-nights, some naps after practice, eating good meals, and getting a lot of sleep. It can be challenging, but I always find a way to deal with it.
GG: What has inspired you to wrestle?
HN: I always liked wrestling and playing contact sports, and I guess wrestling was a way for me to focus just on the wrestling part of it.
GG: What is the most valuable thing about wrestling for you?
HN: In every wrestling match, you always have a certain amount of vulnerability: it’s just you and someone else on the mat, surrounded by lots of people. I think it strips away everything, leaving just your “raw-self”, which represents who you really are and how much work you have put in. I think it is the contention with that vulnerability – learning how to deal with being vulnerable and excelling in an environment when you are under significant pressure from the other wrestler and the audience –that is the most valuable thing.
GG: What are some of your accomplishments in wrestling?
HN: Last year, I was unfortunately injured during the tournament season. Freshman year, I qualified for New England’s after placing in Class A.
GG: Wrestling is a tough and tiring sport, what drives you and the team’s hard work for this sport?
HN: If you have a meet with another team, and you are on the mat, you will see the clock and hear the screams. It is those moments that remind me and everyone else during practices to work harder and faster. We always say in the team that “if you don’t come out of practice with your shirt soaked, you haven’t worked hard enough”. If you win a match, and you see your team, your coaches, and your supporters cheering for you, it is a great feeling, and to achieve and replicate that requires continuous hard work.
GG: Do you have any wrestlers whom you look up to? Why?
HN: Some of the seniors when I was a freshman and sophomore, like Chris Thaggard ’20, John Chung ’20, and Elliot Flagg ’20, are some of the wrestlers whom I really look up to. They put so much intensity into every single practice, despite how good they already were, and they were always soaked with sweat and screaming at others to work harder. Seeing them being so tired at the end of practices, and seeing their level of commitment and passion for the team, I was really inspired. They were really emotional at the end of their last season at Deerfield, and seeing that love and attachment for this team also left a mark in my heart.