A 3-inch scar resides on the forehead of Trent Nivala, a 285-pound wrestler for the Puyallup Vikings. Nivala suffered the cut just before the postseason began last year, and he thought it might keep him from competing in the district, regional and state tourneys.
But after he received stitches to repair the wound, Nivala was able to compete, and he advanced all the way to the Mat Classic state tournament as a sophomore.
“I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to come back for the postseason,” Nivala said. “When I got cut, there was blood everywhere. My mom always bugs me about putting stuff on it, but honestly, I think that it is kind of cool.”
Nivala is now one of his team’s elder-statesmen.
“I’m not used to being in this kind of position,” he said. “I always have been one of the underdogs, and it is interesting being a leader this year. It kind of brings me back to when I was at Kalles Junior High School, where I was our team captain.”
Nivala said he enjoys wrestling for Vikings first-year head coach Aaron Lee.
“He pushes us really hard,” Nivala said. “I like the way he has got that grit that you want in a head coach. He is really enthusiastic and is always positive.”
The Herald recently asked Nivala a few questions about his life away from the wrestling mat.
The Herald: What is your favorite movie of all time?
Trent Nivala: “No Country for Old Men.” I just really like gritty movies. Javier Bardem is a really good actor.
TH: What would you do if you had $1 million?
TN: I probably would donate a lot of it to charity. In my Social Studies class, we have been reading a lot about philanthropy. The only thing you really can do when you have that much money is help people.
TH: What is your biggest pet peeve?
TN: When people complain about things, and they don’t realize what they’ve got.
TH: Where do you see yourself in five years?
TN: Going to the University of Washington.
TH: What is something unique about you that nobody would know?
TN: I actually play piano really well. I have been playing piano since about the fourth grade.
TH: What is the last book you’ve read?
TN: “Animal Farm.” It was a pretty good book. I really enjoyed it.
TH: What is your favorite hobby away from the wrestling mat?
TN: I’m really into trying to prepare for college as much as I can. I’m very focused on school work. Other than that, I just like relaxing and enjoy being a 16-year-old kid.
TH: What is your favorite restaurant in Puyallup?
TN: Red Robin. I really like their monster bacon cheeseburger.