Payson Athlete Featured On National Cover

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Payson High School's most accomplished wrestler is featured on the cover of the Sept. 15 edition of Wrestling USA magazine.

Nate Lee, a 2005 PHS graduate, is pictured wrestling at 2005 Rocky Mountain National Championships in Denver, Colo.

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Nate Lee

The caption reads "Nate Lee (a four-time Arizona State Champion) defends a takedown attempt by Phillip Keddy (a two-time Utah State Champion) in a match that was decided in double overtime. Lee won the overtime battle 2-1."

Wrestling USA, often called "the National Voice of High School Wrestling," is a monthly publication that has grown from an eight-page, black and white newsletter to a 64-plus-page full color magazine. It is published in Missoula, Mont.

In Nov. of 2004, Lee -- then a PHS senior -- accepted a wrestling scholarship to Boise State University, where he is now enrolled.

Prior to signing the letter of intent, Lee took a recruiting trip to Boise State and returned saying he was impressed with the school, its wrestling program and the academics.

"They push you to be a good student," he said. "Wrestlers have mandatory study hall two hours a day, four times a week."

Lee plans to major in nursing, with a goal of becoming an RN.

Lee also was impressed with Broncos' head coach Greg Randall and assistant Chris Owen.

"They both are really good coaches," he said.

PHS wrestling coach Rich Ormand, who was present when Lee agreed to attend Boise State, said he believes the university will be a perfect fit for Lee to continue his wrestling career that began when he was in elementary school.

Now a freshman at Boise State, Lee will probably redshirt this season, which begins Nov. 15 at the Wyoming Cowboy Invitational.

"He has about a 50-50 record against the (174-pound) starter, but it's probably best he redshirt," his father, Brent Lee, said. "It will allow him time to adjust and take care of his academics."

Last year, Lee (171-pounds) wrapped up his senior season with a 52-0 record and won his second 4A weight class state title. His first two state crowns were won when Payson High was a member of the 3A conference.

During his tenure on the PHS team, Lee compiled an impressive 197-3 record and went more than three full seasons without experiencing a defeat.

Following the 2004-2005 season, he was named to the All-Arizona Wrestling Team. Later, in a voting of Arizona Wrestling Coaches Association members, Lee was named Arizona's "Co-wrestler of the Year" along with Tucson wrestlers Nick Gallick and Matt Lopez.

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