When Nick Chapman started wrestling, it was just "something to do in the winter." Now the Hatboro-Horsham standout is undefeated as a senior.
Chapman has been playing football since he was 5 years old. He started wrestling in the sixth grade after his older brother got into it. He took a 23-0 record into the weekend.
"He wrestled in middle school and he would come home and put me in moves, and I didn't want to be put in moves anymore," he said. "I started wrestling so I could fight back."
Chapman has become a key component of the Hatboro Horsham wrestling team, where he has shown great improvement.
He looked to be a contender in his sophomore season until he suffered a season-ending injury. As a junior, he wrestled at heavyweight, winning a Southeast Regional championship and qualifying for states. This year, he is looking to make a name for himself at the state tournament at 220 pounds.
"We're hopeful and confident that Nick is going to be competing for a state title, and anything he gets is going to be due to all the hard work he's put in over the years," Hatboro-Horsham coach Trent Mongillo said.
Chapman has served as a captain of the wrestling team for the last two years and for the football team in his senior year. According to Mongillo, his leadership goes beyond his obligations as a captain.
"While he's wrestling at practice, if he can see a teammate struggling with something, he'll tell them to try this, try that, so he definitely puts an extra effort in on being a good teammate as well," Mongillo said.
Mongillo, who has been coaching Chapman since he started in middle school, believes he is one of the hardest working wrestlers on the team, on and off the mat. In the offseason, when Chapman isn't lifting, training and going to tournaments, he focuses on academics and volunteering. He helps out with younger wrestlers and volunteers with special needs youth playing basketball, a sport he says is not his strong suit.
"Anything we throw Nick's way in terms of helping out and getting involved in the community, he's more than willing to accept," Mongillo said.
Chapman is an asset to the wrestling team, but his real passion is football. A linebacker and offensive lineman, he will attend West Chester University in the fall to continue his football career and study physical therapy. Although he was getting Division I looks in wrestling, he decided he would rather stick to football.
For now, he'll focus on finishing this season strong.