With each sport, there is a goal that marks the standard of excellence. For football players, they strive to hit 1,000 yards in a season. With baseball players they strive to reach 300 wins. For a basketball player they aim for the goal of hitting the 1,000-point mark.
In high school wrestling, the goal is to hit 100 career victories. One hundred wins has been the benchmark of success, the result from hard work for generations.
For Wayne Falcon senior Hunter Cobb, the commitment he has given in his wrestling career paid off on Jan. 17 when he hit the 100 win mark. To add to this excitement, he hit this goal during a home meet held at the Corydon High School on his senior night when he pinned his second opponent of the night.
Hunter along with the Falcons was scheduled for a wrestling triangular on Jan. 15 against Des Moines East and Chariton, but as luck would have it, the winter weather forced a cancellation. With that meet being cancelled, he lost his chance to hit the 100 mark a few days earlier, however he gained the chance to do it on home floor with many of his family members and classmates present.
“I wasn’t really concerned about getting my 100 wins, I just don’t like to lose matches,” said Hunter when asked how he went into this triangular knowing he was two wins away from this mark. “I wrestle to win matches and the 100 wins just happened to come in this meet.”
Wrestling has been a part of Hunter’s life from a young age. With his father, Josh Cobb, being a past Wayne Falcon wrestler, Hunter began his wrestling career at the age of 5.
When asked if it was a hard decision to make on whether he would take up wrestling like his father or go a different route towards basketball, there was no doubt in his mind which way he would go.
“I was a short, fat kid when I was little so I probably couldn’t have made it up and down the court,” Hunter joked. “I was lapped running the half-mile, so basketball was something I never wanted to do.”
In elementary, following his move to the Chariton school district, Hunter began wrestling with a club out of Chariton. With the help of his dad and a coach there, his love of the sport grew.
Hunter began his high school wrestling career with the Chariton Chargers, competing in the 138-pound weight class as a freshman. While in Chariton he gathered 17 wins under his belt to pave the path towards his goal.
Once returning to Wayne, Hunter competed in the 145-pound class his sophomore year and while a junior was in the 152-pound weight class. As a sophomore, Hunter got a taste of state success after qualifying for the state tournament held at Wells Fargo in Des Moines.
While he was beaten out early within the tournament his sophomore year, qualifying for state gave him a taste of his own success and he wanted more. With his eyes set on making another trip to state, Hunter hopes for a top five finish in 1A to finish out his senior year and high school career.
Sitting with an overall record of 100-53 and currently ranked 10th according to the Predicaments Class 1A state individual rankings. For Hunter, that isn’t good enough.
“I’m number 10right now, but the rankings don’t really matter to me, I want to at least be top five at state,”
It’s a toss up currently on what his highest achievement is between his state-qualifying year or hitting the 100-win mark. Regardless, with both being great honors, he isn’t finished yet.
With his high goal set of another state appearance, he has put in numerous hours as he looked ahead for his senior year. Attending numerous summer camps while running three to four mile courses with hills to stay in shape.
In October he began working with the High Altitude Wrestling Club out of Martensdale wrestling every Wednesday and Sunday. By mid October, he added in freestyle tournaments along with workouts and wrestling with former Wayne Falcon Blayde Baker.
Baker is no stranger to Wayne wrestling fans as he also hit his 100 wins during his time with the Falcons being the first to hit the mark after several years passed. He ended his career in second with all-time highest wins for Wayne with 112 behind Dallas O’Brien.
Hunter came into his senior year with a record of 77-49. Out of his four loses Hunter has dropped this year three of them came from the hands of Bedford-Lenox Drew Veneicher. Veneicher, a junior is currently ranked third in Class 1A.
With the upcoming sectionals, nearing Hunter knows there’s a good chance the two will meet up again.
“I know what mistakes I made before and I have to wrestle smart,” said Hunter. “Coach (Joe) Nekvinda and (Joel) Petty are getting us mentally prepared and we are in good shape.”
The Wayne Falcons have seen a successful season thus far. With nearly every weight class filled when they compete, the Falcons have been tallying up team wins.
Hunter’s younger brother Jakson, a sophomore wrestling in the 120-weight class, has seen success as well after qualifying for the state tournament his freshman year.
“We have a 40 pound weight difference between us so we can’t really wrestle one another for practice but we listen and critique one another,” Hunter said of his brother.
Another way Hunter works with his brother Jakson to stay in shape is by doing “bike matches”.
“We ride a stationary bike and peddle as hard as we can for 10 seconds then wait 10 seconds, then peddle again and continue doing this cycle for six minutes in a row,” said Hunter. “It’s the hardest thing I have ever done.”
The Falcons were set to attend a tournament in Corning on Jan. 18 and 19, but due to the forecasted weather, the tournament was postponed. Wayne was scheduled to be one of 23 teams in attendance at this tournament.
As the Iowa winter weather continues to change the schedule for the Falcons wrestling team, Hunter is staying on course with workouts and training as he looks towards his final goal.
“My dad is my biggest inspiration and help as he is always coaching me and teaching me along the way,” said Hunter. “I try to wrestle my mom (Tonya Baker) but she won’t let me. I can take my dad down but I can’t pin him, because I can’t get my arms around his stomach.”
Hunter and the Falcons are scheduled to travel to Pleasantville on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 5:30 p.m. At this quad meet Wayne will meet up with Pleasantville, BGM Brooklyn and Oskaloosa.
Local grandparents of Hunter are Krista Hickie, Charlie Hickie and Jerry and Kim Cobb all of Allerton.