A Life of Wrestling: Nebraska Remembers Christian Miller
PLAINVIEW - Christian Miller was living out his lifelong dream. The 21-year-old had always imagined being a division-one wrestler, and doing it as a Nebraska Cornhusker. After a storied high school career and a relentless workout schedule, he accomplished that goal. Just before he would have started his third season, his time in the red singlet was cut short.
Christian Miller’s mother, Amy Greger, told us, “When I was awakened with the news, it was just unbelievable… I was planning on going back there Friday morning.”
Miller was killed in a car crash in the early morning hours of November 5th. The car he was riding in went off the road, claiming the lives of Christian and fellow college wrestler Max Hughes... one of Miller’s closest friends.
“They were special friends. They had met at a wrestling camp and I remember Christian coming home, and speaking about how awesome Max was.”
The two had combined for seven wrestling state championships in high school. Four of those by Christian, who grew up in the small northeast Nebraska town of Plainview… where news of the crash rocked the tight-knit community.
Christian’s high school coach, Dean Boyer, says, “Of course, right away I was shocked. I, pretty much told his mom I was sorry, and… it bothered us.”
Christian got into wrestling at young age and quickly became obsessed. He started attending meets with Coach Boyer in second grade, and eventually made a name for himself at Plainview High. There, he dominated his way to an impressive 169-2 record, earning him the unlikely opportunity for a ‘small-town kid’ to wrestle for the Huskers. Though Christian reached and shattered most of the goals he had set for himself, his mom says, with his competitive drive, that wasn’t enough.
“I know he had more goals on top of that. So, that being left unfinished is always going to be heartbreaking,” explained Greger.
Christian wasn’t able to finish out his career at Nebraska, but the same wrestlers he inspired just by getting there will carry out his spirit for years to come.
Coach Boyer says, “Our message is going to be… to wrestle like Christian because he was fearless, relentless, and that would really make him proud.”
The message will inspire the Plainview wrestling team as they compete for the team’s third-straight State Title this season, but it also helps Christian’s mom, who knows that even though Christian couldn’t live out his dream of coaching and teaching the next generation of wrestlers, he is still able to leave his mark on them.
“It keeps him in everyone’s heart, and that is special.”