Oxford, NY (WBNG Binghamton)
Wrestling is considered one of the most grueling sports there is, but if there's anyone who has shown the ability to grind on and off the mat day-after-day, it's Joe Nelson.
"I like to be set apart from people," said Nelson. "I've got to work hard to do that. I end up working hard in the classroom and on the mat."
That work ethic has made Nelson successful in both. On the mat, he's a 3-time Clyde Cole Wrestling Tournament Champion, and a 2-time section finalist. Off it, he still holds a 97 average and is a member of the National Honor Society while also playing baseball and soccer.
"Athletically he's the same that he is academically," said Jonathan Rogers, one of Nelson's teachers. "He's willing to put in the extra time, to put in the extra work to be that person that will push himself further and further to achieve more and more each year."
That's the drive that has Nelson eyeing lofty goals this year and beyond on the wrestling mat for Oxford.
"This year I want to be State Champion in division 2," said Nelson. "And next year I want to repeat that."
Once again setting high expectations for himself in almost everything he does. It's that dedication that is the number one reason Joe Nelson is this week's Academic All-Star.