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No. 2 McCormick likely done for rest of season

The Northwest College wrestling team’s loss of Jeff McCormick was a surprise blow to both the team’s lineup and morale.

McCormick underwent an emergency appendectomy on Jan. 4 in Salt Lake City and is now at home recovering.

McCormick’s kidneys were in failure, and he suffered an infection that affected many of his major organs, said NWC head coach Jim Zeigler.

But despite the life-threatening ordeal, a return to the mat this season hasn’t been completely ruled out.

“There’s still hope in his mind and my mind too,” Zeigler said.

But the facts make it hard to imagine McCormick ever hitting the mat for Northwest again.

“You’re looking at a couple months of recovery time,” Zeigler said. “It doesn’t seem realistic. He would have to be working out in 21 days.”

Zeigler said that McCormick has struggled with walking around his house for more than a few minutes at a time before becoming fatigued.

McCormick was admitted to the Powell Valley Healthcare emergency room on Jan. 2, was flown to Salt Lake City on Jan. 3 and had surgery on the fourth.

He was released Jan. 9 and is in recovery at home.

NWC head wrestling coach Jim Zeigler said McCormick will return to Northwest next week to resume classes.

Zeigler said that even if McCormick can’t compete, he will travel with team for the remainder of the season, and did not sugarcoat what his absence will mean to the team’s competitiveness.

“We’re certainly not going to be as good without Jeff McCormick,” Zeigler said.

Aside from his value on the mat, McCormick’s absence took a mental toll on the team as well.

“The emotional part of it is difficult for me,” Zeigler said. “My heart goes out to him in this situation.

“There’s a genuine love that develops between the team as they go through these experiences.”

But the Trappers still have national title hopes, and the rest of the season will be interesting to watch as the Trappers try to mend their lineup.

The tandem of Hayden Heap and Cormick Eaton took McCormick’s place at 157 pounds, to less-than-stellar results.