OT 2022-23 Boys Wrestler of the Year: Gil Nicodemus

May 20, 2023 | 12:05 am

Updated May 20, 2023 | 2:05 am

Photo courtesy of Curtis Martinson

After a strong season with Daviess County, Gil Nicodemus’ efforts have not only led to his name being put in the record book for Panthers Wrestling, but have also earned him the title of the 2023 Owensboro Times Boys Wrestler of the Year.

Nicodemus said that he was grateful to be honored with the award, as it is exemplary of the hard work that he’s put into a tough sport like Wrestling. Having dealt with injuries in recent years, he came into this season with something to prove.

“I suffered a pretty substantial injury in November of 2021. It cost me nearly the whole of my sophomore season. So this year, I really wanted to come back strong and make an impact. To medal at the state championship was definitely a goal that would measure that progress.”

Gil’s determination led to a number of impressive outings for Daviess County, including earning a medal at state. His sixth place finish earned him a spot in the Panthers history book, making him the third state medalist ever.

“I had a couple big moments this year,” Nicodemus said. “I got beat by a kid from Central Hardin in the first week of the season. Then I came back to beat him in January. To win a tournament like that was twice as sweet. Likewise, I beat a kid in the blood-round of the State Tournament that had beaten me in the Semi-State tournament. To earn my first state medal in that manner was pretty special.”

Nicodemus said that what he loves about wrestling is that he can always get better and wants to improve in every aspect of wrestling. Of course he’s had plenty of help along the way, constantly being pushed by his coaches and teammates.

“I think my success this year is a combination of three factors,” Nicodemus said. “I have great wrestling partners in Jaxon Winkler and Kolyn Cruze. We try to give everything we have to work hard at every practice. And we have a room full of great teammates and coaches that keep a positive attitude.”

Gil went on to thank them again, while also thanking the plenty of coaches, staff at Daviess County High School and last but not least, his family for rooting him on as the season progressed.

“I would really like to thank my wrestling partners, Jaxon Winkler and Kolyn Cruze,” Nicodemus said. “And of course, the DCHS Wrestling Coaching staff—Coach Martinson, Coach Skylar, Coach Ben, and Coach Reese. The DCPS Board and administrative staff at Daviess County High School and I also have to thank my family. They are all pretty awesome. It’s great to have such a substantial network of support.”

His eyes are now set on next season though, as Nicodemus hopes to keep climbing that podium and have his teammates come alongside him next season. Gil said that he wants to use this award as something to show him that his efforts are paying off—and to continue to help him maximize his potential in the near future.

“No doubt, winning this award is a big honor and a big motivator,” Nicodemus said. “It raises the bar for me. I’d really like to work hard and win it again next year for my team, school, and community. That would be great. I will no doubt be putting in as much work as possible this summer, trying to work around my other obligations to football and the Governor’s Scholars Program.” 

May 20, 2023 | 12:05 am

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