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Regional Ready with Kelley and Knowles
The Flames enter the NCAA East Regional Championship as the event's defending champion, taking the team title during the program's first year back on the wrestling mats. Liberty had four wrestlers win their weight classes during last year's event (Christian Smith at 125 pounds, Tim Harner at 141 pounds, Chad Porter at 165 pounds and Patrick Walker at heavyweight), with the quartet advancing to the national championship.
Liberty's wrestlers, along with grapplers from Delaware State, Duquesne, Gardner-Webb, Millersville and Wagner, will be looking to claim victory in their individual weight classes and punch their tickets to the NCAA National Championship, in St. Louis, Mo.
During today's interview, LibertyFlames.com will be featuring a question-and-answer session with Aaron Kelley (174 pounds) and Nick Knowles (197 pounds).
1. What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
AK - Ephesians 5:1-2, because it is very inspiring.
NK - Proverbs 3:5-6, because I am weak, and when I trust in myself, I fail.
2. What is your favorite movie and why?
AK - Kill Bill, because Bill gets killed.
NK - Walk the Line, because I love Johnny Cash.
3. What is your favorite memory while competing in your sport?
AK - Just winning.
NK - Going 0-2 at senior nationals. It was a humbling experience.
4. What is your most embarrassing memory while competing in your sport?
AK - Losing.
NK - Twice in a match, I cut a guy and got taken down right when he got to his feet.
5. I came to Liberty because … ?
AK - Because of Coach Pat Sole.
NK - I knew that God had called me here.
6. Share something that people don't know about you?
AK - I used to be mute.
7. What has been your defining moment as an athlete?
NK - Being given the opportunity to wrestle at an NCAA Division I school.
8. My first car was …
AK - Silver.
NK - A Volvo X-40.
9. If you could be somebody else for a day, who would you be and why?
NK - One of the disciples, so I could hang out with Jesus.
10. Who is your favorite Liberty athlete?
NK - Rashad Jennings (football)
11. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
AK - Don't give up.
NK - Any advice given to me by my dad.
12. If you could change one rule in your sport, what would it be and why?
NK - I would make the first period two minutes, rather than three.
13. After graduation I would like to …
AK - Fly planes.
NK - Get started with a church and start a family.
14. When I have an hour of free time, I like to …
AK - Play Xbox until my thumbs are bruised.
NK - Play guitar.
15. Words that describe me on the athletic field (and why) are …
AK - Relaxed.
NK - Controlled.
16. If you could compete in any sport against any athlete, who would it be and why?
NK - Serena Williams (professional women's tennis), so I could feel what it's like to truly get destroyed by a girl.
17. My craziest ambition in life is to …
NK - Bike along the California coast line.
18. Do you have any pre-match rituals?
AK - Negative, not one.
NK - Just pray.
19. Who is one person in history that you would like to meet and why?
AK - John Pemberton.
NK - Mozart, because he rocks!
20. A place I've always wanted to visit, but never had the chance is (and why)?
AK - The moon.
NK - Tahiti and the bottom of an iceberg.
21. What are four or five things you could not live without?
AK - Shoes, water, food, computer and cell phone.
NK – My Bible, guitar, iPod, laptop and water.
22. Who is your favorite athlete on your team to watch compete (and why)?
NK - Patrick Walker, because it's like watching Rambo get out on the mat.
23. What sets wrestling apart as a sport and makes it appealing?
AK – Because of the tight uniforms.
NK – Because of the singlets.
24. If I won a million dollars, I would …
AK - Buy a plane.
NK - Save a fourth for my kids' college, and spend the rest building a wrestling center.
25. What cartoon character are you most alike (and why)?
AK - Shaggy, he eats a lot of hamburgers.
NK - Donkey Kong, because it's kind of my nickname around here.
26. If someone would look at the songs on my iPod, I would be embarrassed for them to see I have this song …
NK – "Music Box" by Regina Spektor.
27. The first thing people notice about me when they meet me is …
AK - My cauliflower ear.
NK - I don't talk much.
28. The last book I read and enjoyed was (and why) …
AK - Holes.
NK - Children of Hope, which is about a missionary in Africa sharing the Gospel with children who either had AIDS or lost family because of it.
Previous Sessions of Regional Ready
With Sean Katz and Christian Smith (March 3)
With Tim Harner and Shaun Smith (March 4)
With Julian Colon and Chad Porter (March 5)