By STEVE KRAH
Trey Sturgill can hear his coach’s words of advice ringing in his ears.
“He’s always told me to never live with regret,” says Sturgill, a 113-pound senior competing for Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Famer Andy Hobbs at Peru High School. “I’m
determined. I’m driven. My job is to get the job done and be the best person I can be.”
Sturgill, who Hobbs likes to call “Pancake” after a mat move of the same name, says he excels from the top position.
“I’m a dog on top,” says Sturgill. “I like to get the pins.”
So far, 65 of 96 career victories have come by fall. Sturgill (30-3 in 2019-20) won the 113 title at the Three Rivers Conference meet Saturday, Jan. 25 at Maconaquah.
“He’s got a pretty good skill set,” says Hobbs of Sturgill. “He’s very savvy.”
Sturgill missed all of junior season with an injury he can trace back to the freshmen-sophomore state when he was a freshmen. He continued to wrestle through his sophomore year, qualifying for the 2018 IHSAA State Finals at 106.
“I really wanted to make my state run,” says Sturgill.
The pain got to be too much and examination revealed Trey had four torn tendons and a broken shoulder. He them fixed and began physical therapy.
“I wanted to be stronger for my senior season,” says Sturgill, who was cleared to wrestle the week after the 2019 State Finals. His off-season included meets in Michigan and Ohio. “My shoulder is doing fantastic right now.”
Sturgill has multiple workout partners at Peru from 106 to 138.
“We have a pretty open room,” says Sturgill. “Each kid’s different. It helps me with my defense and what to look for in a real match.”
Trey is not the first member of his family to step into the circle.
His father, Bill Sturgill, wrestled for Northfield High School and was a semistate qualifier.
Trey was hooked on the sport when Bill took his youngest boy to a Peru Wrestling Club event at 3.
Brother Peyton Sturgill, who graduated from Peru in 2016, was a two-time state qualifier. Half brother Kane Rockenbaugh (Peru Class of 2013) was a semistate qualifier. Mother Rana has been there to cheer them on.
Peyton Sturgill is on his way to earning his college degree and becoming a math teacher. Trey Sturgill has sights set on teaching high school physical education.
“I’m still deciding on wrestling (in college),” says Trey. “We’ll see how this season goes.”
Away from wrestling, Sturgill likes to play disc golf at courses in Peru or Wabash.
“I like getting out and enjoying the fresh air and nature and being with my buddies,” says Sturgill.
Hobbs, a Tipton High School graduate, is in his 34th season as a wrestling coach and 25th season as head coach at Peru.
“I’ve enjoyed every year of it,” says Hobbs, who has 453 dual meet victories and leads a Tigers program with the motto is “ No Magic, Just Hard Work!!!.”
The veteran coach teaches his grapplers to “never walk past a piece of trash on the ground” and to “be humble enough to prepare and bold enough to compete with the very best!”
“You control what you can control and don’t worry about the other guys,” says Hobbs, who has produced 41 state finalists — 39 at Peru and two while coaching at Princeton. “You drop the hammer and take more shots.“
“Those are the ways you have success in the sport.”
Hobbs, who is also a health teacher, believes in having and following a plan.
“We’re specific with everything,” says Hobbs. “With nutrition, we avoid process sugar and drink a lot of water.
“We get sleep, wash hands and wear hat and a coat. Everybody’s got to
learn that curve.”
Hobbs’ coaching staff features Daric Fuller (two-time state qualifer), Zak Leffel (two-time state qualifier), Colin Quin (two-time sectional two-time sectional champion), Jordan Rader (three-time state qualifier and 2018 state runner-uo at 170), Kegan Kern (four-time semistate qualifier and Al Smith Classic finalist) and Chris McKinney (conference and sectional champion). Fuller (history), Leffel (math), Quin (P.E.) and McKinney (chemistry and physics) are teachers. Rader is an Indiana University student. U.S. Air Force vet Kern is Miami County Sheriff. Kern owns his own law firm. McKinney served two tours in Iraq with the U.S. Army.