Nickolas Polomski’s wrestling career began as a way to keep in shape for soccer. The Atkins sophomore was in the sixth grade at the North Carolina Leadership Academy, a charter school.
“I was looking for something to do on the side to stay in shape for soccer,” Polomski said. “It was a lot more fun, so I decided to stay with it. You don’t have to worry about how the other team does.
“It’s more one-on-one and more hands on than any other sport. You’re in control.”
About the only thing Polomski doesn’t like is Coach David Hamlin’s grueling workouts, but he understands that they are necessary. “Workouts can get you really tired,” Polomski said. “As long as you’re willing to be pushed, he will push you hard.”
He said the team never looks forward to a visit to “Hammie’s Hill,” a bank on the Atkins campus. “If the entire team gets sentenced to Hammie’s Hill you know it’s not going to be a fun practice,” Polomski said. “We will go there if there’s a general lack of effort in the last match or not listening to the coaches.”
Polomski said he started out wrestling at 100 pounds in middle school. He’s increased an average of 20 pounds each year since. “You can’t really get used to a certain type of wrestling,” he said. “Last year I started out at 160 and ended up at 170 towards the end of the year.”
He considers the 170 and 182 divisions to be the toughest in wrestling. “It’s the perfect spot,” Polomski said. “People are pretty decent. It’s not exactly a fun group to wrestle in. They are not only tall, fast and strong, but they also have a lot of muscle mass.”
Polomski currently wrestles in the 182-pound classification. He weighs 177 pounds, which is midway in the weight class. It makes it easier to maintain weight. “I’m kinda in the area of 177,” he said. “I have five pounds either way, so I never have to go into any drastic measures to lose weight. I’m pretty adamant about that.
Polomski said he’s been plagued with a chronic cough the past month. “I’ve been pretty on and off,” he said. “I’ve been finishing second or third or fourth in our tournaments.
“I’ve had a cough which makes it pretty hard. It starts when I start working out. It makes it a lot harder to do a lot at practices and it shows at matches and tournaments.”