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Teammates before and after

12/04/2012, 10:00am EST
By Kalani Simpson

When they were teenagers, they were teammates. Best buds. They were in it together for life, it seemed, no retreat, no surrender. It was all in front of them.

Now they’re men. They’re 23, but they’re men, experienced and battered and scarred. They’ve lived some. They know dreams don’t always come true. They know life doesn’t always go the way you planned.

In so many ways, everything has changed.

But in so many ways, it seems like nothing has.

In the old days, it was wrestling that brought them together. Nikko Landeros was a competitor. He was not just a ferocious one but a voracious one; he was hungry. His first love was basketball. But high school basketball had him frustrated. His best friend, Tyler Carron, was a wrestler. Carron was a state qualifier, one of those kids all but born into the sport.

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