Nevills wrestling for family history at California State Championships
Clovis high senior Seth Nevills is a heavy favorite to win his fourth state title this weekend - that's something only two other boys wrestlers have accomplished in California. But for Nevills, it's become much more about family than individual history.
“I want to do it for myself and I want to be the third four-timer," said Nevills. "But I think it's more special that if I do win, my family will have the most state titles.”
Seth (3), and his three older brothers A.J. (1), Nick (3) and Zach (1) have combined for eight state titles. That makes the Nevills boys tied as the winningest family in the history of California wrestling - ironically enough, with the sons of longtime Clovis wrestling coach Steve Tirapelle. The three Tirapelle brothers, Adam (2), Alex (3) and Troy (8) also won eight state titles, in the late 90's and early 2000's.
“Seth, when he was a fifth, sixth grader, when he would come in and he would say, ‘well I’m going to win four times,’’ says Steve Tirapelle. "And of course we all laughed at the time and said, ‘well that’s a good goal.’”
The Tirapelle's, and everyone else, started to believe in Seth's prediction after he won as a freshman. In fact, Seth didn't lose a single match his first three years of high school, even winning every match by pin his junior year. Despite a loss in the finals of the Doc Buchanan to a Colorado wrestler earlier in 2018, Nevills' career record is 161-1 entering the state tournament. Nevills is so athletically skilled, Penn State awarded him a five-year scholarship - four years for wrestling, and one for football, if he wants to play.
"Seth’s been like the Lebron James of high school wrestling," says Clovis associate head coach Adam Tirapelle. "I mean, he probably could have not practiced all year and probably still won every match. He’s just that far ahead of the competition.