By Moses Leos III
Dripping Springs Tiger wrestler Luke Hodsden only needed 16 seconds on Dec. 9 to reach the milestone of 100 career wins.
By pinning a Hendrickson Hawk opponent, Hodsden became the first Dripping Springs Tiger to reach that mark.
“I’ve had faster,” Hodsden said when asked if that was the fastest pin of his career.
For Hodsden, attaining the mark was important not only for himself, but for the Tiger wrestling team.
“I think it’s an important milestone,” Hodsden said. “We haven’t been around that long … it shows how much we’ve grown as a program every year.”
According to Hodsden, winning his 100th match was the “culmination of all” his hard work.
It’s a story that began when he first took up wrestling at the tender age of five while living near the New Hampshire-Vermont border. Hodsden said his dad, who wrestled when he was in high school, ushered him into the sport.
“Wrestling is something that’s been a part of my life ever since I could remember,” Hodsden said. “Once I started doing it, it’s just something I’ve done every year without pausing. It’s part of my life.”
Hodsden has continuously been backed by both of his parents, who were both Division I college athletes at the United States Military Academy West Point.
According to Hodsden, his parents pushed him and his brother, former Tiger wrestler Scott Hodsden, to find something they were passionate about.
“They try to support us in what we ought to think we should be doing with our time,” Hodsden said.
But having grown up with military parents, Hodsden said there were plenty of rules to follow at home. For Hodsden, it was “something you get used to,” but something he said he’s “blessed to have.”
That regimented mindset and that push is what drives Hodsden to go through his morning routine.
Every morning starts with a 6:30 a.m. weightlifting session. After going through his school day, Hodsden then goes through a rigorous two-hour practice. He then makes the trek to Hudson Bend, where he trains at 3F Fitness for more training.
“A lot of families don’t have two parents around and not a lot of parental involvement in activities,” Hodsden said. “My parents are at wrestling events supporting me always. Although they are being strict, they are pushing me to be the best.”
His parents were one factor that drove Hodsden during his first three years at Dripping Springs. Winning a state championship was another factor.
Last season Hodsden capped off an unblemished 52-0 mark as the UIL Class 5A state title at the 182-pound weight class.
Repeating as state champion, and going undefeated through the year via pin, is a goal for Hodsden in 2015.
But this offseason he changed his sights on his future.
His new goal is now focused on preparing to wrestle in college. Hodsden will follow in his parents’ footsteps by attending West Point.
“When I (won state), it was great. But I had to find a new goal to one up it,” Hodsden said. “My new goal is to win a national championship and wrestle in college.”
But for Hodsden, his accomplishments, and the accomplishments of many other successful Tiger wrestlers, help go to improving the program.
“It’s important that it’s not four years and done, but to leave a legacy at Dripping Springs for a great wrestling program,” Hodsden said. “That’s the reason we’re going so hard on our freshman. To make sure they have what it takes to take over when we leave.”