Sonoraville junior Tyler Hunt has wrestled all over the country in the past few years, but he officially put his name on the map recently with his performance at the Super 32 Tournament in Greensboro, N.C. October 27-29.
Hunt had his most impressive tournament run to date by finishing sixth in the high school 126-pound division at the Super 32 to earn All-American honors. He went 8-3 overall during his run through the bracket at the Greensboro Coliseum against some of the top competition in the country.
“This is the toughest folkstyle tournament there is…it’s like the NCAAs of high school,” said Hunt, who has won back-to-back individual state titles in his first two years of high school wrestling for Sonoraville. “I feel like I really wrestled well. I kind of finally broke out. I had been there a few times, but I haven’t had near the success I did this time. My goal is obviously to win, but finishing as high as I did, it really got my name out there. I should be ranked nationally now.”
Hunt, who is now preparing to shift his focus to the high school season with the Firebirds, said he has had some attention from colleges, but his recent performance really kicked that attention into high gear.
“It’s awesome,” said Hunt. “I’ve been looking at some college programs, especially the Naval Academy, and I was looking forward to wrestling at the Super 32 in front of the Navy coach. I had my best performance, and everything really fell into place. All the hard work I’ve put in is really paying off.”
Hunt said along with Navy, he’s also received a lot of interest from Air Force.
Hunt wrestled in several big tournaments this past summer, including competing as part of Team Georgia at the Junior National Duals in Tulsa, Okla., the UWW Cadet Nationals in Akron, Ohio, and the U.S. Marine Corps Cadet and Junior Nationals in Fargo, N.D. He said facing the best competition has shown him the areas he needs to continue to work on to get to an even higher level of skill.
“Wrestling in these tournaments shows me exactly what I need to work on,” said Hunt. “Over the summer I focused I lot on my stance and neutral position, but this tournament showed me that I really need to work on bottom position and getting off bottom. It has really influenced how I train and my routine going into the school season.”
Hunt and Sonoraville will open their season in the next few weeks, and he said his success has had an impact on his Firebirds teammates.
“It’s a real confidence booster for our guys,” said Hunt. “It gives us all confidence that what we’ve been doing can work on the highest level. We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing and keep building on it with Coach (Randy) Steward.
“I really want to win another state title this year, but more than that, I want us to win a state title as a team. That would mean so much to me. I want to see us have that success and share it as a team.”
Hunt’s younger brother, Cole, also competed at the Super 32 in the middle school, 80-pound division and finished eighth. Cole is an eighth-grader at Red Bud Middle.