TENNERTON – Muhammad Ali once famously said “It’s hard to be humble, when you’re as great as I am.”
You will have to excuse the Buckhannon-Upshur wrestling team if they don’t abide by the same philosophy as the greatest boxer to ever lace them up.
You see, the wrestling team has had a lot of greatness on the mat under head coach Jacob Orr, and recently they have had a string of wrestlers get their 100th win of their careers.
And each time I have interviewed the B-U wrestlers after achieving this goal, they have been the most respectful and humble athletes you would ever want to meet, including the newest member of the 100-win club – junior Julius Hobbs.
Wrestling in the 126-pound division, Hobbs earned his 100th win against Riverside at the Wheeling Park duals.
“It was just a win for me,” said the humble Hobbs when I spoke with him. “A win is a win.”
Hobbs, who began wrestling in sixth grade wasn’t even sure he had broken the mark.
“I knew I was around 100 wins but I wasn’t paying close attention to it.”
Hobbs didn’t find about getting to 100 victories until after assistant coach Levi Bender informed him of the accomplishment.
Hobbs did say it was a good feeling to reach the mark and be in the same company with so many wrestlers that came before him, especially the group of seniors last season that reached the 100-win plateau.
“It feels good to be in their company, just knowing I am on the same path as some of the greats that were here before me,” he stated.
Orr believes it’s the hard work that his wrestlers put in that allow them to be successful on the mat.
“Hobbs pushes himself hard just like every other wrestler that we have,” noted Orr. “He is always learning and growing on the mat. He has grown so much not only as a competitor but as a person as well. It’s been fun to watch him. The fact that he did it as a junior is extra special as well. It is a huge ordeal to get to 100 wins but I think it speaks volume to the type of character of kids like Hobbs that they aren’t counting their wins.”
Orr said his team lives by a motto “Mediocrity is the downfall of success.”
“That is something that we sort of push on them,” remarked Orr. “I don’t want Hobbs getting content on just getting 100 wins. I want them focused on the end game.”
While Hobbs was very humble about his 100th win, I don’t think Orr has to worry about him being content as he still has some big goals for the rest of his junior campaign.
“I want to be a state champion,” stated Hobbs. “I don’t only want to be a state champion, but the type of wrestler that everyone knows that I am going to make you work hard when you get on the mat with me.”
Doesn’t sound like to me that Hobbs is content to rest on his laurels does it?