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As captain, Kyle Mettler strives to make a difference in Bangladesh through Bengal Bouts

| Thursday, February 13, 2020

Kyle “Nemo” Mettler is a junior from Alumni Hall, and Bengal Bouts has allowed him to form some of his strongest relationships, raise money for the Holy Cross mission in Bangladesh and work with younger kids.

Bengal Bouts has been an integral part of his Notre Dame experience, he said.

“It has really changed everything about my college experience,” Mettler said. “I’ve formed a lot of my strongest relationships through working very hard with some of the same guys day in and day out and working to help other guys improve as they help me improve as well.”

Allison Thornton | The Observer
Junior Kyle Mettler, right, lands a left hook on sophomore Aidan Dillon during the 2019 Bengal Bouts semifinals Feb. 25 at the Dahnke Ballroom.

Working to make a difference in Bangladesh has also been an essential part of Mettler’s involvement in the club.

“Obviously working to make a difference across the world adds that extra bit of motivation,” Mettler said. “It is something that I am excited to take part in every day. It’s something that I will never get tired of.”

In fact, Mettler will get a chance to visit Bangladesh with his teammates for eight weeks this summer as part of an International Summer Service Learning Program.

“I am excited to learn about where all that money goes … that we have worked so hard to raise,” Mettler said.

In Bangladesh, the team will be teaching English to younger students and helping around the parishes. Mettler said he is ecstatic about the experience, and hopes the club can reach their donation goals for this year.

“We have been working really hard to hit our goal this year,” Mettler said. “I think we are going to get there.”

Mettler’s favorite Bengal Bouts memory came during his finals fight last year. In the third round, he was exhausted and the fight was “neck and neck.”

As the match wound up, he began to slow down and could feel the fight slipping from him.

“My gas tank was starting to go empty,” Mettler said.

He refused to go down without a fight, however. He landed a few combos and the crowd “started going crazy.”

“It was just the most energy that I have ever felt in a sporting event,” Mettler said.

The crowd’s energy lended itself to Mettler, and enabled him to finish the fight strong despite the eventual outcome.

“With everybody going crazy, screaming, and cheering me on, I got a second wind and came back and finished the fight really strong,” Mettler said. “Even though I didn’t come out on top of that one, that really stood out for sure.”

Now, a year later, Mettler says being a Bengal Bouts captain was initially difficult for him. He wanted to spend more time training for himself, and was hesitant to sacrifice his time by teaching the sport to others.

As time went on, however, he learned to embrace teaching and now enjoys seeing improvements in younger fighters.

“It has turned out to make it so much more of a rewarding experience to see guys grow and make such fast improvements that are showing up every day,” Mettler said. “It’s been really great to be able to pass on some of my experiences to some of the younger guys because I feel like I was in some of their shoes just yesterday.”

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About Nate Moller

Nate is a junior majoring in chemical engineering. He is originally from a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota and is currently living in Siegfried Hall. Some of his passions include running, cross country skiing, and getting too worked up about Notre Dame and Minnesota sports teams.

Contact Nate