PHILIPPI—For his accomplishments on the mat this season for Alderson Broaddus University, former Grafton Bearcat wrestler Noah Hodges has been named the recipient of the 2020 Skirmy Award.
Voted on by other coaches across the campus and various other means, the award is given to the top male and female freshman athletes at the university.
Hodges, who won 28 matches this season and was a voted to the All-GMAC and All-Region teams, edged out Hosea Addison (football) and Finniare Lee-Edwards (rugby) for the male award.
“I’m very thankful to win this award,” Hodges said recently. “I want to thank my coaches, my practice partners, and my other teammates.”
He earned his first tournament victory at the inaugural “Battler Royale” at home, defeating Davis & Elkins’ Shawn Moore by majority decision.
He earned his second tournament victory at the USCAA National Invitational Tournament with three victories and earned bonus points for a pin and two major decisions.
Hodges completed his freshman season by placing fifth at the NCAA DII Super Regional Tournament held at Mercyhurst University.
He stated that before the season started, he was asked to write down three goals that he wanted to work towards this past season.
“My first goal was to earn a starting spot on the team,” Hodges explained. “We had a fifth-year senior coming back at my weight class (125) but I was able to beat him out for it.”
His second goal was to “have significantly more wins than losses this season” and he did just that, sporting a solid 28-14 record which he looks to improve upon in the upcoming seasons.
His third goal was to make the national tournament in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which is still very attainable as he has three seasons left to compete and improve upon this season’s results.
And as a former standout wrestler at Grafton High School, Hodges is no stranger to postseason success.
He finished his Bearcat career as one of the most decorated wrestlers ever, tallying 205 wins against just 15 losses, and winning a state championship at the conclusion of his sophomore season in the 106pound weight class He had three more Top-5 finishes at the state tournament during his time at GHS as well. He placed second as a freshman at 106 and after moving up to the 113-pound weight class as a junior, he would place fourth that season and third his senior season at 113 again.
He was a four-time regional champion and because the top six wrestlers at the state tournament earn all-state honors, he was an all-state selection all four years as well.
Hodges said he wouldn’t be where he is today without the support of his hometown.
“I want to thank the town of Grafton for all of their support throughout the years,” he added.
With a successful freshman campaign now behind him, Hodges wants to continue to add victories to his resume and take the sport that he loves to the next level in his next three seasons at the university.
“I have a great shot to win 100 matches,” said an optimistic Hodges. “I could be the second wrestler at the school to win 100 career matches (excluding transfers who won matches at previous schools). And I want to make the National Tournament and become an All-American.”