By Joshua Nishimoto
A Big Wrestler in a Small World
As a four-year varsity letterman student-athlete in both football and wrestling, a two-year letterman in track and triple crown champion during his junior year, taking first at high school state, first in USA Idaho freestyle state and Greco state wrestling, Eli Richards is a formidable multi-disciplined student-athlete.
“One of my biggest challenges in wrestling is having good wrestling partners at my weight to push me during practice,” Eli said. “I know how to push myself, but being pushed by another wrestler raises my game.”
Raising his game is something that Eli wants more than anything, both on and off the field.
“I recently signed a letter of intent with the University of Alberta,” he said. “I will be wrestling there in the fall and while earning my education.”
While wrestling and gaining knowledge through education are important for Eli, he can’t help but focus on all of the great things that wrestling has brought to his life.
“Making friends from all over and being part of a huge wrestling family is something that I most love about wrestling,” he said. “I love that wrestling is small in people’s eyes around here, but on the other hand how popular the wrestling world is, once you get involved and are able to travel and experience such things as I have been able to do, and being part of a huge wrestling family is just amazing.”
As a champion wrestler, Eli has learned many life lessons. Through his network of friends, family and coaches, these experiences have simultaneously cemented his legacy at Bonners Ferry and are paving the way for his future.
“It’s hard to pick just one life lesson I've learned from just one coach or being involved in wrestling,” Eli said. “I’ve been coached by so many great coaches and helped by so many great people throughout my wrestling career. It takes more than just myself to succeed; it takes a village of coaches and great people to raise a state champion.''