Champions of Character: MSU-Northern's Cameron Neiss - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Champions of Character: MSU-Northern's Cameron Neiss

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The MSU Northern Lights have many solid wrestlers on their team but none are quite like All-American Cameron Neiss.

"When you think of work ethic - when we talk to recruits about work ethic Cameron is our example. He is the most disciplined dieter that we've ever had.

Granted, he's up a weight class this year but he's very disciplined with what he puts in his body. He's a machine, said head coach Tyson Thivierge.

"People don't realize how much there is to wrestling. Staying committed to the sport, to the diet and you have to go good in school too."

To Cameron's credit, he has stayed committed and done well in wrestling and in school. Not only is Cameron an All-American wrestler, but he's also the lone academic All-American on his team.

"You never have to worry about him academically. He was an academic All-American last year. He's got above a 3.65 GPA, you never have to worry about him."

Cameron takes care of his responsibilities on campus whether it be on the mat or in the classroom, but his biggest responsibility is always waiting for him when he gets home. Layla Neiss, Cameron's daughter, is Cameron's biggest responsibility but also his biggest supporter and source of inspiration.

"Back home I have a lot of support through my family and my girlfriend and daughter. They're always coming to see me when they can see wrestle. They always help me through my tough times I have and that's basically been my motivation and Layla's been a huge part of that."

Having Layla in his life has also matured Cameron and given him an opportunity to see things from a new perspective.

"It's definitely helped me see things clearer and motivated me a lot. And it's helped me straighten out my life and think of some long term goals and why I need to get stuff done. It's set me on a path that I realized I need to go on."

Layla's mark on Cameron's life is evident but maybe no more so than the mark on Cameron's leg.

"I got a tattoo that she drew when she was 17 months old and it looked like her initials and I really liked it so I just threw it on my leg right here and it's pretty special to me."

According to his head coach who has kids of his own, Cameron is a special kid in his own right who's taken the initiative to be the best father that he can be.

"He's done it on his own. Just like where he's gotten himself athletically and academically. He's done a lot of that on his own personal good will and stuff like that and being a father - he's learning. He's taken the road and he's learned and he's a good father."

In terms of his wrestling road Cameron made it all the way to the championship match last season but fell just short and finished 2nd in the tournament and in the nation. This season though, with Layla by his side, Cameron and his coach hope to get him on top of the podium, where he belongs.

"It broke my heart to see him not win a national title because I've also been his shoes, I've also lost a national title. But, putting Cameron on top of that podium with his family there, with his daughter is an experience that I visualize everyday," said Thivierge.

"It'd be pretty neat, especially with Layla there because her and her mom have been there to support me all this time and it'd be a big pay off," said Neiss.

But, even if Cameron doesn't win the national championship this year, he still has his daughter and his family, something a trophy or standing on a podium could never replace.

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