Athlete Spotlight: James Wood wrestler Chris Nuss

6010830f70d83.imageJames Wood High School 17-year-old senior

Sport: Wrestling. Weight class: 152 pounds

Parents: Christa Nuss and James Londergan

Hometown: Arlington (moved to Winchester in fourth grade)

What do you love about wrestling: I love that you get what you put in. Nobody else is responsible except for yourself [on the mat]. There's so many aspects that you can control that you can't control in other sports.

Most memorable moment in wrestling: Last year at states when I wrestled Ty Chittum the first time. (Nuss beat the 2019 state runner-up and 2020 Region 4A champion from Great Bridge 7-6 in the Class 4 state quarterfinals at 138 pounds en route to taking fourth place) I think he was ranked No. 2 [in the 138 class]. He got in on my leg, and I threw him right to his back. And like the whole crowd started, like, freaking out. Every time I watch the video, all the Great Bridge parents are in shock. It was pretty cool.

Most embarrassing moment in wrestling: It was when I was in ninth grade. The first time I was wrestling that year, [my opponent] had a a very big tricep muscle. Whenever I would line up [in the top position] I wasn't looking for his elbow because I figured I could feel it. But I was lining up on the tricep muscle. My coach, Mr. Mark Weir, he kept telling I need to line up on the elbow, but I kept lining on his tricep because I thought it was his elbow. The ref gave me so many warnings that I almost got disqualified from the match. But I did end up pinning him.

Most difficult moment in wrestling: I'd say right now. I'm continuously practicing and weightlifting in preparation for a season that may not even be a season. (Frederick County is not participating in the VHSL winter sports season and will start winter sports on March 1.) I've had this goal of winning states since I was in eighth grade, and now I don't have that [as an option].

Three people you can have dinner with, dead or alive: Kanye West; he's just such an interesting and strange person. It's be interesting to dive into his mind and see what he's like. [Four-time NCAA champion wrestler and U.S. national team member] Kyle Dake; he's been my favorite famous wrestler this whole time. He's such a cool dude. And Eminem; I'd like to talk to him about what made him interested in music.

Biggest athletic influence: [Former Millbrook state champion and Shark Pit Brazilian Jiu Jitsu of Winchester wrestling coach] Joe Jessen; everyone complains [about hard workouts], but he taught me to suck it up and just keep going.

Who’s your favorite teacher: [James Wood's] Mr. [Cory] Crenshaw (also the school's wrestling coach). He's always there to talk about school or things that aren't about school. You can go to his classroom and ask him any questions, and he's always there to answer them. I had him last year in chemistry.

Favorite athlete: Kyle Dake

Favorite sports team: Penn State wrestling

Favorite movie: "Iron Man"

Favorite TV show: “Money Heist”

Favorite food: Boneless chicken wings from Buffalo Wild Wings

Worst thing you’ve eaten: Any salad

Plans after high school: I'm not certain of where I'm going to go to school yet. I want to start off in nursing school and try to work up to a nurse practitioner. I just love helping people. It's kind of ironic, because I wrestle and I go out there and beat people up. But I want to do as a career is help people get better.

— Compiled by Robert Niedzwiecki



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