Staff Sgt. Max Nowry, a Soldier-athlete in the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, was named 2019 Greco-Roman Wrestler of the Year by USA Wrestler April 15.“It is a nice honor,” said Nowry. “2019 was a good year for me. I put a lot of work in and things started to click. I look forward to keep moving forward and gaining momentum from last year.”USA Wrestling is the National Governing Body for the Sport of Wrestling in the United States and, as such, is its representative to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee.In 2019 Nowry placed fifth at the World Championships, the best of any U.S. Greco-Roman wrestler. He also won first at the U.S Open and the Armed Forces Championships.Nowry considers the U.S. Open one of his best performances of the year. He flew into Las Vegas for the competition right after competing at the Pan American Games. When he got to Vegas he had contracted an infection in his eye but continued to compete.“When I got to Vegas I went to the emergency room and they gave me antibiotics,” said Nowry. “My body wasn’t feeling like it normally does but I was still able to outlast people because at WCAP we train so hard.”Nowry attributes his resiliency to being in the Army. He says wrestling and being a Soldier go hand in hand.“The Army helps with resiliency and it is a big aspect in wrestling,” said Nowry. “It is a one-on-one sport and things don’t always go your way, but you have to stay strong.”Nowry is joining a line of Army wrestlers who have earned the title “Wrestler of the Year.”Since 1999, the Army has earned the title six times with current WCAP coach Dremiel Byers winning in 1999, 2002 and 2009, Justin Lester winning in 2011 and current coach Staff Sgt. Spenser Mango winning in 2013.“He’s one of the hardest workers in the room,” said Mango. “He is very dependable on and off the mat, he will be there for you. He puts a lot of work into it and its showing.”Mango and Nowry’s wrestling days go beyond the Army. They have been wrestling for a long time together and were teammates at Northern Michigan University.“I remember when he was in high school and came up to Michigan through the big brother program,” said Mango. “The relationship we built over the years is something I value. It meant a lot for him to become the wrestler of the year.”Nowry said it is an honor to share the title with Mango because he is a big part of his career.“When I first started wrestling he was the one to beat,” said Nowry. “He showed me what it took to be at the top level. As my coach he knows how hard I wrestle and what works for me. That bond has made it special.”Now wrestling in WCAP, Nowry is thankful for his opportunity to be in the program.“Wrestling for the Army is great because I am able to serve my country” said Nowry. “When I step on the mat and see the Army star on my chest, it gives me a sense of pride.”Mango mentions that WCAP is a great way to show the unique opportunities the Army has to offer.“WCAP shows others people there are other jobs in the army than those you normally think of,” said Mango.Nowry is continuing to train by himself until social distancing restrictions are lifted and he can head back to the gym with his team.“I am just maintaining shape and getting creative with old training techniques,” said Nowry.Nowry will continue training in hopes of qualifying for the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.