Wrestling is a sport in which the success a person has is a direct reflection of the amount of work and time they put into it. For Cole Hunt, this Summer has shown how hard he’s worked and how dedicated he is to wrestling.
The rising eighth-grader from Red Bud Middle School has had an impressive last several weeks, including being a part of great team and individual accomplishments. Hunt was a part of history in early June as he traveled to Indianapolis, Ind. as part of Team Georgia and helped them win the USA Wrestling Schoolboy National Duals Championship. It was the first time Team Georgia has ever won the national title, and they defeated Team Washington to do it.
Hunt, who had a 10-4 record at the Duals, said it was an incredible experience to be a part of and the team was a tight-knit group that came together to achieve the feat.
“It was very cool,” said Hunt. “Everyone on the team was so supportive of each other, and we knew from the start that we wanted to win the whole thing. We knew we could do it, and we worked hard to make it happen.”
Hunt continued his momentum as he had individual success later in June when he competed in the Kids Freestyle and Greco-Roman National Championships at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. He finished fifth nationally in both the Freestyle and Greco-Roman divisions in the 77-pound weight class. Despite the fifth-place medals, Hunt said he was hoping for even more.
“I’m okay with my performance, but I wish I could’ve done better,” said Hunt. “I knew what it was like competing in a tournament like that against the best wrestlers in the country so I was comfortable and confident in what I could do.”
Hunt added that competing in both the National Duals and Individual tournaments only help him grow as a wrestler.
“It helps a lot,” said Hunt. “I get to wrestle against the best and see the areas I need to work on to get even better. One of the things I need to work on is staying focused through the whole tournament.”
Hunt has been wrestling for more than 10 years now, and he and his brother Tyler, a rising junior at Sonoraville High, know nothing else but working hard on the mats because of their passion for the sport. They are the sons of Greg and Randa Hunt.
“It’s a lifestyle,” said Cole. “I’ve put everything I’ve got into it. My brother and I push each other to get better.
“My goal is to keep going with wrestling all the way through college and hopefully represent the USA in the Olympics one day.”
Cole’s father Greg said he knew what Cole could do after watching him wrestle for so long, including a great season leading up to the Summer’s accomplishments.
“He had a good folkstyle season and then went to Liberty Nationals in Missouri before going to be a part of the first Team Georgia to ever win at National Duals,” said Greg. “I think I’ve got the hardest working kids around and that shows on the mat.”
“I don’t think people really know how much work and time it takes to wrestle at a high level like they do,” said mother Randa of Cole and Tyler.
Tyler has started his high school career for Sonoraville with two straight state titles for the Firebirds.
“I’d like to see Cole follow in his brother’s footsteps and win a state title in the next couple years.”
Sonoraville High head wrestling coach Randy Steward said wrestling families like the Hunts are refreshing to see as a coach and extremely helpful to building a top program.
“People have no idea the commitment these two kids have and their parents too,” said Steward. “When you start traveling all over the country to get these kids opportunities to wrestle against the best like they do, that shows you how much it means to them. That’s my goal is to grow wrestling in this community, and hopefully, we’ll have more families like the Hunts that help with that. It’s all about getting these kids the opportunities to do what they love.”
Cole will continue to stay busy on the mats and keep training as he gets ready for the Super 32 Folkstyle Tournament in North Carolina in October.