HUNTINGTON—As with the old adage, big things come in small packages, it cannot be truer than in the, 106 pound class at GHS.
This weight class has been held down all year by sophomore, Noah Hodges.
Hodges is a true warrior, with the heart of a giant.
And it took this huge heart to lead him to his very first WV state wrestling championship ,in only his second year of high school wrestling.
Hodges, who has been wrestling since he was six years old, put extra work in this year to make sure he did not repeat last season when he finished second in the state.
“I worked extra hard this year in hopes that it would pay-off in the end,” said Hodges.
“I had to watch my diet and do a lot of extra running after practices, but it was all worth it to bring home the championship,” he added.
Hodges worked his way through a very tough bracket ,to find himself in the state finals against Ritchie County’s Connor Spaulding.
“I was a little nervous going into the finals, but I was also confident that I had put in the work needed to win,” said Hodges.
The confidence showed in the finals, as Hodges defeated Spaulding 11 to 4.
Hodges went down 2 to 0 early in the match then executed a reversal to bring him back even at two.
The boys then traded points to find it all tied up at four, at the end of the first period.
In the second period Hodges scored a three point near fall to take the lead, and followed that with another two point reversal and a two point near fall to close out the match.
“I was overwhelmed after I won,” said Hodges. “I have worked for this for over a year and I wanted to win it for myself, my family and my coaches,” he added.
“Noah had a tough road to get to the finals, one of the harder draws he could have gotten,” said head coach Keith Zebley.
“He stepped up to the challenge and went all the way, with an 11-4 decision in the finals. He peaked at the right time and wrestled great,” he added.
Even though wrestling seems to be more of an individual sport, Hodges was also excited how the Bearcats finished as a team.
“We took six wrestlers to the states and four of us placed in the top six,” said Hodges. “We finished sixth as a team which shows what a great job our coach had done this year getting us ready to wrestle.”
This is the attitude that makes this kid something special.
With this only being Hodges’ sophomore year, it looks as if there could be two more championships coming to the trophy cases, at GHS in the future.