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    #MondayMatness: Slothing Around with Kyle Hatch



    A willingness to learn has led to steady improvement and a bright outlook for one Warsaw Tiger.

    Kyle Hatch began to make a name for himself on the Indiana high school wrestling scene during his freshman campaign at Warsaw.

    As a 106-pounder, he placed fourth at the prestigious Al Smith Classic at Mishawaka in late December and went on to finish eighth in the his division at the 2014 IHSAA State Finals.

    As a sophomore, the son of former two-time state finalist Dan Hatch (qualifier at 135 in 1991 and eighth place at 140 in 1992), grew to 120 and won the Al Smith and placed seventh in the state in 2015.

    Now it’s 2015-16 and Kyle Hatch has begun his junior season with several dominant performances, the most recent during the Raider Super Duals Saturday, Dec. 12, at Northridge.

    Kyle Hatch competed at both 145 and 138 pounds, but said he is likely to go at the lighter weight the rest of the way, including the Al Smith on Dec. 28-29.

    “Technique-wise I’d be OK (at 145), but the strength wasn’t always there,” Kyle Hatch said.

    Eighth-year Tigers head coach Justin Smith supports Hatch supports Hatch on his decision of weight — 138 or 145 — for the rest of the regular season and the IHSAA tournament series.

    “I think he would be successful wherever he went,” Smith said. “A lot of it is what he feels. If he has a lot of confidence at one weight class or the other and wants to charge in, we’re going to let him.”

    Kyle Hatch is improving as he goes along.

    “I’m still learning a lot,” Kyle Hatch said. “I’ve learned that I need to contain my hips and make sure they stay balanced and equal on each side.”

    That is advice from Smith and father Dan Hatch, a Warsaw assistant coach.

    Smith, who has been watching the young Hatch wrestle since “he was knee-high to a grasshopper (Kyle started in second grade and later excelled at Warsaw’s Lakeview Middle School), admires the way father and son operate.

    “They have a good relationship,” Smith said. “I just interject once in a while and give a fresh perspective.”

    Wrestling becomes even more of a family affair when you consider that Kyle’s cousin, Tyler Fitzpatrick, is a junior wrestler at NorthWood High School.

    Dan Hatch said the coaching staff likes for all Warsaw wrestlers to be able to break down their matches to be able to fix flaws. Sometimes this is done with video analysis.

    “Kyle can usually point out the stuff faster than the rest of us can,” Dan Hatch said.

    Smith, a former Homestead High School wrestler who was an assistant at his alma mater and head coach at Fort Wayne Wayne before going to Warsaw, sees an ability in Kyle Hatch to make necessary adjustments.

    “He works on every aspect of his wrestling — neutral position, bottom and top,” Smith said of the young Hatch. “He’s at the point where he doesn’t have to make wholesale changes. We just pick out little things that are going to make him more effective, things like putting the hips in.”

    Kyle Hatch has also learned to use his legs and his strength while on top to turn his opponent.

    “His strength is deceiving,” Smith said. “He does not have a lot of bulk in his upper body, but he is fast and strong.”

    Kyle Hatch notes that he’s getting better at takedowns and riding. His father said it’s hard to get much quality time working on escapes when you need someone capable of holding you down.

    Those opportunities are bound to come at the Al Smith.

    “I can’t wait for that.” Kyle Hatch said.

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    Thanks for the interview.  I think the joke was on me, because they all kept it from me till the time of the interview (think that was Kyle's idea).  Since I was taken off guard, I didn't remember to get to the bottom of this imposter sloth in the Carroll room!  Great job on catching the everyday people and not just the elite kids. The other thing I wish I would have covered is the importance of letting kids wrestle and have fun when they are younger, or you won't have them in the room when they are in High School.  Focus on the grades if you want to push your kids when they are young, without those they cannot wrestle in High School anyways. 


    Daniel Hatch

    Edited by warsawwrestling
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