Nixon making adjustment to college wrestling level

LEROY — Former Pine River wrestler Kyle Nixon was at his hometown high school last week keeping in shape as he continues to focus on a college career.

Nixon, now with Southwest Minnesota State, is being red-shirted but wrestled at one tournament in Storm Lake, Iowa, as an independent wrestler and had five matches. He was 3-2 at the tournament and a match away from placing. He wrestled at 157 at that particular event, but is also at 149.

“We’ve done workouts since we got there and we started official workouts in October,” Nixon said. “It’s about what I expected. It’s a little bit different. Everybody in the room is probably a state qualifier or a state placer or a state champ. They’re all solid. The competition is a lot better at practices.”

The former all-stater at Pine River said he learns something new every day.

“We’ll have a few opens in January and maybe some in February,” he said. “The season will wrap up the second week in March when the starters go to nationals. Basically for me, since I’m red-shirting, the season is almost done.”

He was at Pine River practices last week getting in shape and headed back to Southwest Minnesota in midweek.

It’s a 14-hour drive for Nixon to Marshall, the location of Southwest Minnesota State.

“There’s not as much snow, but it’s colder and there’s a lot of wind all the time,” Nixon said.

The red-shirt season will give him four years of eligibility and Nixon will be a freshman next season for Southwest Minnesota’s wrestling program.