‘I am not ever going to get complacent’
Written By PATRICK Z. MCGAVIN – DAILY SOUTHTOWN |JAN 02, 2020 | 12:44 PM
Photo: Mount Carmel’s Noah Mis, left, tries to escape at 126 pounds during the Class 3A dual-team state quarterfinals against Warren at the State Farm Center in Champaign on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019. (Rob Dicker / Daily Southtown)
After finishing fifth in the state last season at 126 pounds, Mount Carmel junior Noah Mis was undeterred by the moment.
Instead, it set the wheels in motion.
“That experience told me that I could win the state title this year,” Mis said. “My mentality right now is just to go out and not have any close matches.”
Mis finished with a 31-12 record as a sophomore, and his career has been marked by vast improvement. He qualified for state at 113 as a freshman.
He hasn’t missed a beat this season. Mis (16-3) is the top-ranked wrestler at 132 in Class 3A by the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association.
Mis’ highlight thus far has been winning the 132-pound championship at the prestigious Al Dvorak Invitational in Loves Park.
“Our schedule is very tough, but I love the competition,” Mis said. “I know that I am good enough to compete with kids at the highest level.”
He performs with an abandon and fearlessness, according to Mount Carmel coach Alex Tsirtsis.
“He is an extremely hard-working kid who has constant motion and attacks throughout the entire match,” Tsirtsis said. “As a coach, he does exactly what you want your wrestlers to do. He is always looking to score offensively and defensively.”
Like Tsirtsis and individual defending state champion Colton Drousias (120), Mis has roots in Indiana. He lives in Griffith.
“I already knew a couple of the kids at Mount Carmel like Colton, and my coach had also coached me when I was younger,” Mis said.
Mis’ older brother David played soccer for the Caravan. Wrestling, however, was always Noah’s preferred sport. He started at age 5.
Mis was subject to bullying when he was younger, and his parents thought wrestling would be a good route to learn how to defend himself.
His aggressive and fast style has accelerated his development. Even as he has moved up weight classes, Mis has not sacrificed his combination of speed, power and strength.
“I think the big difference from the past is that I am more confident,” Mis said. “In the past, I was a bit cautious because I was a younger kid. Now during my matches, I just tell myself to stay calm.”
His reputation also precedes him. His standout performance has made him the standard by which other wrestlers in his weight class are judged.
Knowing that only fuels his confidence.
“I am not ever going to get complacent,” he said. “There many other kids chasing me for that No. 1 spot, and the important thing for me is to work hard and keep getting better.”
A sport that he began in part to establish his own identity and develop his competitive instincts has become his primary signature.
“I have always been a good kid,” Mis said. “When people don’t feel you can do something and you prove them wrong, that is a great feeling.”
Patrick Z. McGavin is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.