Hermosillo wins NCAA DII wrestling national championship
Adams State wrestler will return for a sixth year to defend crown
For the last six months, Jonathan Andreatta and Noah Hermosillo have broke the Adams State wrestling team’s practice huddle with a subtle variation on the monotonous, “Grizz on the three.”
“We’d say, ‘Natty champs on three,’ or something like that,” Hermosillo said. “We fully believed that every single time we would say something like that, and some of the guys on the team — we wanted to make sure they believed that, too.”
On March 12, Hermosillo, Andreatta, and Josiah Rider became the 36th, 37th, and 38th NCAA wrestling champions in the school’s history by winning titles at the DII national championships in St. Louis. Their performances helped Adams State to a fifth-place team finish.
Defeating Sam Turner of Nebraska Kearney at 149 pounds last Saturday wasn’t the first time Hermosillo has gone out on top.
After placing fourth at state as a junior in high school, he returned to win the 2017 Colorado state championship as a senior.
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“It was really cool to achieve that final goal; it was a first of big goals that I set for myself,” Hermosillo explained.
“Now it’s kind of a different feeling — my whole plan in college was to win one and then get a chance to defend it.”
Because his 2021 All-American campaign happened during the pandemic, a “free” year eligibility-wise, the grappler will return to defend his title next season. He’s already earned a B.S. in Marketing and started his MBA this spring, which he’ll finish in 2023.
“Hopefully you’re calling me same time next year,” he said about his goal of winning another title.
Hermosillo’s journey to the pinnacle of his sport at both the prep and collegiate level began in Eagle Valley, where he credits his coaches and family for an immense amount of support and inspiration.
“Each of them contributed to who I am today, whether it was football, wrestling or track,” he said of his high school mentors.
As a sophomore, he wrote down his goal of being an NCAA champion while attending an elite wrestling camp.
“So, that was pretty cool to knock that off the list.”
In college, a similar progression has occurred. His redshirt freshmen season saw him make the national tournament after upsetting the No. 2 wrestler in his region. “I was happy just to be there,” he said of that season. During his sophomore campaign, he was ranked fourth in the country, but the nationals event was called off because of COVID. Coaches voted him as an All-American — one of the top eight in the country — but he was hungry to prove his mettle on the mat in real time.
During a shortened junior campaign, he arrived at the national meet undefeated. The night before the semifinals, he couldn’t sleep.
“It was kind of surreal,” he remembered. “I was like ‘oh crap I’m an All-American, I’m one match away from the finals.”
He lost the next two matches.
“Just had a horrible day two showing,” he admitted. “It kind of gave me some extra motivation to get back to work.”
Last summer he entered a few freestyle tournaments, even going toe-to-toe with 2021 NCAA DI runner-up, Iowa’s Jayden Eierman. Even though he lost, he entered his fifth-year with confidence in his training.
“This year was about just not doubting myself, being smart, not being afraid to take risks; trust that all the work had been put in prior to the tournament,” Hermosillo said. “I feel like a lot of confidence that wrestlers have in themselves come from the work they put in.”
Under-recruited out of high school, he wound up at Adams State partially because of the assurance his high school coaches gave him in regards to the legendary Grizzly coach, Jason Ramstetter.
“I came here and he taught me way more than I anticipated,” Hermosillo lauded.
“He’s taught me immense amounts of technique; he raised my wrestling I.Q.”
Ramstetter won the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division II national tournament coach of the year award after his three wrestlers walked away from a 13-0 weekend performance to claim three titles. His impact on the former Devil has extended beyond the mat, too.
“More than anything he taught me how to be a better teammate and team leader,” Hermosillo praised.
“He’s definitely had conversations with me that I needed to hear in order to kind of level-up. He’s always taught us to believe in ourselves and believe in the program.”
Hermosillo is excited to return to Alamosa for a sixth season, and part of the reason is that he knows when those huddles break at the end of each day, they have more weight behind them than they once did.
“Now they believe that and I’m excited to come back next year where the whole team’s on fire. The bar’s been raised,” he stated.
“I feel like this is a new start for Adams State wrestling. This is just the first chapter; I think we’ll definitely make some more noise in the years to come.”