Logan Elm sophomore Gavin Hoover is slated to make his debut on Friday in the state wrestling championships held inside Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center.
After forfeiting his opening match, Hoover battled back to win four-straight at a Division II district tournament held at Steubenville High School.
The 126-pound sophomore grappler pinned Indian Creek’s Aidan Hendricks in 4:37, recorded a 12-4 major decision over Miami Trace’s Brice Perkins, pinned Steubenville’s Charlie Abbott in 1:40 and then won his consolation semifinal match with a 5-1 decision over John Glenn’s Jared Smith to earn his state tournament bid.
Hoover (44-7) is slated to face defending state champion Bryce Skinner (26-6), a senior from Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, on Friday in a first-round match.
Question: How do you feel you wrestled last weekend at the district tournament and chat with us about winning your match to qualify for the state tournament?
Answer: I hurt my knee the night before sectionals, so I knew i was going to have to push hard if I wanted to make it through districts. I trusted my coaches, wrestled hard and was able to get it done. When the whistle blew ending the match for my state spot, I was so excited I hit my goal and it felt great.
Question: What are your keys to success on the mat with your style of wrestling?
Answer: Strength, endurance and staying mentally tough is key. I’m thankful for my God-given talent, my headgear says it all, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
Question: Talk to us about your practice and training routine and how it has pushed you to become a better grappler?
Answer: Our coaches have pushed endurance training during the entire season and that gives my team and I the ability to have a strong third period. Having multiple weight class teammates who push our limits every day helps a lot.
Question: What are your expectations for the state tournament?
Answer: My goal is to win matches. As a sophomore, I’m excited to go against the best of the best and leave it all on the mat.