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You’d be hard-pressed to find a closer duo than Mechanicsburg’s Nick Tewell and Brady Serina.

Although Serina, a senior, is a year ahead of Tewell, the two became close in pretty much no time flat.

As Tewell puts it, it was “a case of opposites attract.”

The two have been training and wrestling together for 12 years, ever since Tewell met Serina during his first elementary practice. As for the “opposite” part of the attraction, the two are as far from similar as you can get.

“He was older, experienced and knowledgeable. I was not,” Tewell said. “He was calmer while I was not, but we always pushed each other in the wrestling room.”

Although very different, those differences help balance each other out. This is something head coach Greg Budman has noticed.

“Nick and Brady used their intensity and commitment to feed off of each other,” he said. “Brady was more of the outspoken team leader who used his leadership skills to rally the kids and give it their all. Nick was more of leader by setting by example.”

As the outspoken one, Serina has always used his voice to help lead the team, as Brayden Wills did before him last season. Using that voice, Serina has helped Tewell overcome some of his flaws on the mat.

“Nick used to take shots at legs that don’t exist and completely miss, so I would hammer him about that until he stopped that habit,” Serina said.

Tewell describes himself as a very goal-oriented person, so working on the goal of breaking a habit came naturally to him. He uses the weaknesses he and others see to help train harder and improve on the mat.

And at life.

“I pride myself at being the hardest worker at everything I do. It is OK to fall short of a goal — that just provides an opportunity to work even harder,” Tewell said. “In life, we should not be worried about failing or falling short. If we do not push ourselves we may avoid falling short, but the real failure is not expecting great things from yourself. A loss is a lesson learned.”

Tewell will take those lessons into the PIAA Class 3A Individual Wrestling Championships starting on March 8.

At 132 last season, Tewell’s dreams of making it to the big stage at Giant Center were cut short in the District 3 Class 3A tournament. He was knocked into the consolation rounds by Spring Grove’s Jake Meyer and then knocked out of state contention by Elizabethtown’s Justin Shelly in the first-round consies.

This season at 126, Tewell has a better, clearer mindset.

Tewell battled all the way back from an early loss to a third-place finish at districts last weekend and finished fourth at the District 3 Class 3A Section III Tournament the week prior.

“To stand on the state podium at the end of the season,” Tewell said when asked about his goals. “To wrestle to the best of my ability each and every match. Making the most of every opportunity I have.”

Tewell will be the lone Wildcat represented at the state tournament. Serina was knocked out in the District 3 consolation quarterfinals, ending his high school career.

And while it’s hard to not have his wrestling partner going through it, too, Tewell is glad with what he and Serina have been through as captains for the team.

Even though the season is almost over, the two are supporting each other until the end.

“It is heartbreaking to know that Brady will not be going through this journey with me,” he said. “As for myself, it is reassuring to know that I have accomplished my goals. I am now on to bigger and better goals.”

“Of course I will be there supporting him. My season isn’t over until his is,” Serina said.

The two are staying on the practice mat together before states — Serina hopes to help train later after taking care of some nagging injuries — and if there’s one thing Tewell needs in the gym it’s music.

Like Kesha.

“There’s nothing like doing treadmill intervals with Kesha bumping,” Tewell said.

In a few months Serina will graduate and head to college. Tewell will begin preparation for his senior season.

And just like when Wills passed the leadership torch on to Serina, Serina has plans to pass the torch on to Tewell.

“I’m excited,” Serina said excitedly about watching Tewell at states. “It adds some hope to the program for next year, as there will be a mentor on the team.”

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter at The Sentinel.