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    #WrestlingWednesday Feature: Hudkins Overcoming Injuries to Succeed

    Brought to you by EI Sports







    Brock Hudkins is hoping his bad luck is finally behind him.


    The Danville junior 120-pounder has had untimely illnesses and injuries throughout his career. He broke his hand as a freshman, suffered from a severe case of dehydration at the state tournament as a sophomore and just recently recovered from a fractured finger.


    “Brock really has had a lot of bad luck,” Danville coach Steve Pugliese said. “He broke his hand his freshman year, and then he was sick at weigh-ins at state and couldn’t wrestle as a sophomore. This year he was working out on a Friday and ended up smashing his finger severely and had to lose a month of the season.


    “But he doesn’t let it affect him. “He understands that as long as he’s OK for the state tournament series, he can be a force.”


    When he has been on the wrestling mats, he’s been dominate. He missed a month of this season, but has advanced to Saturday’s Evansville semistate with a perfect record. Hudkins is currently 25-0 on the year.


    Hudkins started the season out as the No. 1 ranked 120-pounder in the state. Currently he is ranked fifth.


    As a freshman Hudkins finished fifth at 106 pounds.


    “I went into my high school career with the goal of winning four championships,” Hudkins said. “I finished fifth as a freshman. Everyone was telling me that fifth was a big deal. They would congratulate me on winning regional and semistate. But that wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted a state title.


    “I felt like I let myself down. I set my sights on winning the next year, but the cards didn’t play in my favor at all when I got sick at weigh-ins. But now, it’s all I think about. I want more than anything to get under those lights.”


    While most high school juniors enjoy video games, movies and having fun – Hudkins said his fun is wrestling. There is nothing else.


    “I completely believe that,” Pugliese said. “He has earned his success. He is always training. When he says he doesn’t do anything else, it’s true. He’s not just saying that. I think in the summer he probably wrestled 50 matches across the country and I don’t think he got beat.”


    Hudkins has a total of three losses in high school, yet he knew there were plenty of things to improve upon. According to Pugliese, he’s done that.


    “He has gotten a lot better on his feet,” Pugliese said. “We work on that 90 percent of our practice time, and it’s really showing now.”


    Pugliese feels that wrestlers at the elite level that Hudkins is at, have a certain quality that most wrestlers don’t exhibit.


    “When I took this job, Hudkins was in fourth grade,” Pugliese said. “Everyone talked about him and talked about him. Finally, when I saw him compete I found out why they were hyping him so much.


    “For him, like a lot of elite wrestlers, attitude is everything. He gets out in front of a bunch of people, and he doesn’t care. He doesn’t care who’s watching him. He knows what he can do. He knows he’s earned his success. He knows he deserves to win the match.”


    Pugliese also said that Hudkins is never arrogant or cocky about his abilities.


    Hudkins truly loves wrestling.


    “I love everything about it,” he said. “It’s fun. It’s the main reason why I wrestle. But I also love competing against other people. You don’t have to rely on teammates. It’s you and one guy in the middle of the mat going at it. Best man wins.”


    After high school Hudkins hopes to wrestle for a Division 1 school. He is still contemplating his educational goals, but he’s narrowed it down to either a lawyer, a physical trainer or an engineer.


    Hudkins will face Evansville Memorial sophomore Nolan Schaefer (27-18) in the first round of the Evansville semistate on Saturday.


    If you have a #WrestlingWednesday feature idea, please contact Jeremy Hines at jerhines@cinergymetro.net.

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