13-year-old Nicholas Rogers is a rising star in the wrestling world. He recently came out on top during the Varsity All States tournament in North Kingstown. Now he has his eyes set on a higher prize.
Two impressions are quickly made when you meet 13-year-old Nick Rogers.
One, the soft-spoken eighth grader from Kickemuit Middle School is absurdly tall. Already standing at six feet, it’s hard to miss him. Second, there’s no doubt that he’s already found a niche in this early chapter of his life.
Rogers, a Bristol resident, is a rising star in the wrestling world. He recently came out on top during the Varsity All States tournament in North Kingstown, winning four matches and earning the title of best middle school wrestler in Rhode Island during a meet where 38 different middle schools send their best wrestlers.
Now he’ll have a chance to compete against the best wrestlers in his weight range from around the region at the 58th annual New England Wrestling Championships in early March. If all goes well, Rogers could potentially be wrestling for a national title in the coming months.
“It's all about practice,” Rogers said when asked for the key to his success. “I put time into it and practice every day.”
He began wrestling at just six years old, inspired by WWE legend John Cena. His love for the sport has only grown since, and he estimated that he spends upwards of 15 hours a week practicing.
Rogers credited his coach, Eric Francis, for helping him grow as a wrestler. “He's really sort of been like a role model to be like, ‘Here's what you need to do.’ If I didn't have him, I don't think I would have made it to states.”
From his dad’s perspective, it has been rewarding to invest the time and effort in encouraging his son’s participation in sports.
“He just has like a sort of natural talent for it,” said his dad, Louie. “I started noticing that he just sort of picks it up. I mean you can teach him a move and later you’ll see he uses it on the mat.”
Outside of wrestling, Rogers still enjoys hanging out with friends and playing video games, but his focus is always on the next match, and the next move to learn so he can get better. His eyes are set firmly on the ultimate prize, to become a champion like his childhood icon, John Cena.
“I just want to be one of the best,” he said.