HOLDINGFORD - WJON’s All-Star Student of the Week has had an extremely impressive year in athletics. Holdingford High School senior Nathan Brinker was a member of the Class AA State Champion Football Team playing linebacker. As he moved onto the second sport of his senior year he continued his dominance. Brinker ended his wrestling season undefeated, but he was not always as dominate on the mat.

Holdingford Senior Nathan Brinker was the 195 lb. wrestling state champion. (Photo: Joshua Akkerman, WJON)

He says, "It was slow, didn't get a lot of wins in the first couple of years, basically I just joined to get into shape to get ready for my football season, and baseball season, but as I learned and got better I tended to like it a little more."

Brinker joined wrestling in the seventh grade.  Holdingford Wrestling head coach Logan Oellien says joining a sport later then other athletes is a challenge.

"He took a whooping in seventh grade I’ve been told," says Oellien, "When you jump into a new sport, kind of getting it handed to you in seventh and eighth grade, it’s a reality check for you. A lot of people either quit unfortunately, or they turn the corner and decide to do the right thing and work harder."

That’s what Brinker did. Pinning his opponent in the finals of the state tournament, Brinker is the first individual wrestling state champion since 1974 in Holdingford. He ended his season at 28-0. Oellien says Brinker is just a hard working athlete.

Those are the kinds of kids you like on your wrestling team. Very dedicated, and very loyal to his team. - Logan Oellien 

With two state championships under his belt, one would think Brinker has had enough, but not for this athlete. He still has baseball to compete in. Brinker says being a three sport athlete is time consuming, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.

You need to stay dedicated. In the off season I’m always in the weight room, always getting better for the upcoming season, whatever sport comes next. - Nathan Brinker

Brinker celebrates after winning the state tournament finals. (Photo Courtesy: Logan Oellien)

Once Brinker graduates from high school he can’t stop his training. He is moving on to Saint John's University to play football.

"I’m extremely excited," says Brinker, "It’s something that I want to do for a long time. I’m really glad how my senior season turned out, to go into college thinking I’m the best that I can be."

Brinker says being able to continue his football career close to home means a lot to him. He is looking forward to the ongoing community support playing as a SJU Johnnie.


If you know a student like Nathan, nominate them below as WJON's All-Star Student.
It can be any student, in any grade, participating in any activity.

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(Photo Courtesy: Logan Oellien)
(Photo Courtesy: Logan Oellien)
(Photo Courtesy: Logan Oellien)