One more weekend – Lyman Gilmore’s Hoskin headed for state wrestling tournament
Drew Hoskin says he’s tired.
And, considering that he’s hit the mat for 42 wrestling matches this season, it’s easy to see why.
But Hoskin, a 12-year-old seventh grader at Lyman Gilmore School who won 40 of those bouts, said he’s still up for one more tournament.
In fact, he said, he wouldn’t miss the final stop of his season for anything. That’s because on Saturday in Selma, Hoskin will toe the line in California’s first-ever Junior High State Folkstyle Championships.
“I am kind of tired,” said Hoskin, who has been wrestling since he was three years old, “but I can get a break next weekend.”
Hoskin qualified for the state finals by finishing second in the 89-pound weight class of the Northern California Tournament of Champions at Del Oro High School in Loomis last weekend. Hoskin went 4-1 on the day, with his lone loss coming by way of a 3-2 defeat in the finals to Jessie Delgado of Gilroy.
“He’s like a two-time national champion in freestyle,” Hoskin said. “I know him because when we go to national tournaments we kind of hang out together.”
Those two will be among the 16 wrestlers competing in the 90-pound bracket at Selma High School Saturday. Hoskin said “It’s cool” to be one of the final 16 in the state, but reaching such a level is nothing new to him.
He’s won three state crowns, including the 75-pound novice bracket at the California Kids & Cadet Freestyle State Championhips in San Jose last May. He also wrestled at “seven or eight” national competitions, including USA Wrestling’s Greco Roman & Freestyle Nationals in Wisconsin last year.
“It’s a four and a half-hour drive (to Selma),” said Hoskin’s mother, Shelby, who along with her husband, Andy, and 14-year-old daughter, Quinn, travels to each tournament in which their son competes. “At least we’re not driving to Montana or Idaho.
“We’ve driven to Montana twice and Idaho once, and last year’s regionals were in Winnemucca (Nev.). We even thought about driving to Wisconsin (for the nationals), but we decided to fly.”
The Hoskins head out on these trips together in hopes of turning them into short family vacations. But, Shelby said, just because they’re in different states doesn’t mean much variation as to what they see on such trips.
She recalled one recent trip to a tournament in Redding, where the family left Nevada County at 2:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning and didn’t return to town until 1 a.m. the next day. They spent most of the day inside a gymnasium with hundreds of other wrestling families.
“I don’t know if ‘fun’ is the right word,” she said. “Even though I’m always excited to watch him wrestle, it’s kind of grueling to travel like that. And when we go to other states and longer trips, we’re still sitting inside some high school gym for most of the time.
“Don’t get me wrong. It is fun, but it is grueling.”
Knowing the toll it takes on her and the Hoskin family, Shelby said that she and Andy are aware that the itinerary can also be tough for their pre-teen who’s doing all the wrestling.
“We talked about it and instead of going to nationals, we’re going to go to Hawaii this year,” Shelby said. “That’s what he wanted to do, take a vacation where he didn’t have to wrestle.
“Sometimes you have to step back and realize your kid needs a break.”
That’s not always easy to do, especially when that kid continues to climb to the top of each level at which he performs. And considering wrestling resumé he continues to write, Drew doesn’t exactly want to walk away from a chance of claiming yet another tournament title.
And, Shelby says, the sport has done so much for her son that she certainly wants him to continue competing as long as he likes.
“I feel this is going to help Drew obtain a college education,” she said. “Not only is he an excellent wrestler, his GPA is between a 3.875 and 4.0 every trimester.
“I believe wrestling has taught Drew to be a disciplined person, because it’s a disciplined sport. The way he wrestles is the way he lives his life. He’s very disciplined in every aspect of his life and I think that’s because of wrestling.”
Even though he wrestles year-round, Hoskin does plan to play football and run track next year as an eighth-grader. And when he’s away from the mats, he said he also enjoys playing paint ball and going hunting or fishing.
He’ll be joined not only by his family Saturday but also Lyman Gilmore coaches Dave Lawell and Dennis Haack, who he said have helped develop his skills in the sport. He said he hopes to make both coaches proud in Selma Saturday.
“I usually set goals (for tournaments),” Drew said. “Usually I want to place in the top three. I just want to wrestle my toughest.
“If I do that, I’m 90 percent sure that I can place in the top three. That’s if I wrestle my best – which I’m going to.”
If he sounds confident, he said, it’s because that’s what the sport demands of its competitors.
“In wrestling you have to be confident,” he said. “Some guys get too cocky and end up losing. But you want to be confident so you don’t get psyched out when you wrestle a real good kid.
“You just want to be confident and give the kid a good challenge and maybe even win.”
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