—¦and life ain't nothing but a funny, funny riddle; thank God I'm a country boy." -- The late John Denver
By Harold Raker
The Daily Item
MIFFLINBURG -- One-time PIAA Class AA champion wrestler Nazar Mironenko is going to go a travel a long way for a chance to wrestle in an area which will remind him of home.
Mironenko didn't exactly face a funny, funny riddle. But he did have a couple of choices to make.
The Wildcats' senior 285-pounder, who also starred as a two-way lineman in football, decided his original plan, to play Division I college football, was less likely than a shot at D1 wrestling.
That choice made, Mironenko headed south for a visit to the University of North Carolina, where he could wrestle in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
But the country boy did not care too much for the city atmosphere of Chapel Hill. So he flew out west to Fargo, N.D., to check out North Dakota State, and he was sold.
"It is a long way (from home) but they are down-home people, they are not arrogant. When you fit somewhere, you fit somewhere," he said.
Monday morning, Mironenko, son of Nikolay and Yvonne Mironenko, made it official, signing his National Letter of Intent to wrestle for the Bison.
Mironenko said the Bison are a program on the rise and their recruiting class was ranked No. 4 in the nation, but since improved to No. 2.
"They are building talent and their coach (Roger Kish) is really young, the youngest coach in Division I," he said. "They are definitely a top-15 team. They are an up-and-coming program, and I would like to be able to help push the team into the spotlight".
Mironenko will redshirt his first year and spend five years in Fargo, majoring in geology with an emphasis on geography and mapping.