Pape sets all-time wins record at Hastings

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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Hastings High wrestler, Damen Pape now holds the all-time wins record at Hastings. Last Saturday, Jan. 18, Pape broke Connor Laux's record of 181-wins, which he set two years ago.

"It just means a lot taking it match by match these last few years, it's slowly gotten all the way up to the school win record," Pape said. "When I was here my sophomore year, that's when it got broke by Connor Laux and then me being friends with him it's kind of funny I guess."

Head Coach and Connor's brother, Nolan Laux is not unfamiliar with the history of Tiger wrestling, being a two-time state champion himself at Hastings, he knows first hand what it takes to win and how special an athlete Pape is.

"He just has a great work ethic and he reached his goal last year of winning a state title and that's been his goal growing up," Laux said. "After he reached it, it could have been, 'I reached it. I can kind of relax now,' but he has just kind of taken it upon himself not even to just win another one but say, 'Ok, what's next? What can get me to be the best wrestler I can be?' That's a special mindset to have and he's just something special to this program."

After winning the Class B state title at 170 last season, Pape has not missed a beat in his senior year, posting an unbeaten record. For Pape, he has kept his approach the same.

"Mostly, I just try to stay cool, calm and collected. That's when I feel like I wrestle the best, not when I'm all hyped up or anything it's just when I'm chill before my matches, that's when I wrestle the best," Pape said.

Pape will look to keep a similar mindset next month at the CHI Health Center in Omaha for the State Championships. There he will look to become the fifth Tiger in school history to win multiple state titles.