From Setback to Success: Noah Keen’s Journey to All-American Status at NHSCA Nationals

Noah Keen took the long way to earn All-American honors at the NHSCA High School Nationals in early April.

The Francis Howell Central senior, coming off an MSHSAA state championship this season, went 8-2 in the event held in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

He won six of those matches in a row after a loss in the second round and battled back to stay alive and ultimately secured the fifth-place match in the Senior Division 132-pound bracket.

“Noah also did a lot of great things throughout the tournament,” Francis Howell Central coach Jason Mattson said. “One of the best things he did was set himself on a mission to battle back and earn his All-American status. Wrestling through the backside of the bracket can be extremely tough, especially at that tournament. Matches come up quickly and rest time can be minimal. Noah’s ability to grind through those tough matches and continue to push himself to go for more was extremely fun to watch.”

Keen said that performance helped him garner some more interest in college programs.

“I had a few schools reach out to me after I came all the way from the backside,” Keen said. “I got some grit and I don’t have mental blocks. I have mental strength. I will go out there and get it done. The goal was to go out there and let it fly and get these colleges to know who Noah Keen is. I got to do that.”

He opened the tournament with a win over Bryce Sears of Ohio but then lost 3-0 to Jack Kazalas from Pennsylvania, 3-0….

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Cody Thorn

Written by Cody Thorn

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