Hunter Elswick has essentially spent his whole life on the mat and will continue taking shots for at least few more years.
The Timberland High School senior wrestler has signed a letter of intent to compete for William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Wolves coach Ryan Rhoades believes Elswick has the makeup to tackle the next leg of his journey, which figures to be tough. College wrestling is a different beast.
Elswick was a three-year starter for the Wolves and fans saw his hand raised as the winner of matches far more times than not.
“We will miss Hunter tremendously and we wish him the best of luck in the next chapter of his life,” Rhoades said. “We know we will see him again when he comes back to visit and to help wrestlers get better. He wants to be a coach as well, so it will be good practice for him.”
Elswick’s lessons on the mat began in elementary school when he was a member of the Bonneau Takedown Club. Rhoades led the program and recalls Elswick going through a learning curve like any new wrestler does before being able to turn the tables on the opposition.
“I remember Hunter taking a lot of butt kickings through those first few years but he never gave up and kept working hard,” Rhoades said. “I wish I had one more year with Hunter because the Elswicks have been part of the Timberland wrestling program since I’ve been here. It will be different without him.”
Elswick eventually grew into one of the Timberland program’s best grapplers and finished his prep career as a two-time state placer. He was fourth at 182 pounds as a senior and third in the weight class as a junior. Not many Wolves wrestlers have been top four multiple times over the years so that sets him apart. Also, the Wolves advanced to two Lower State championship matches as a team in Elswick’s three years.
Elswick posted a 41-8 record as a senior and 31-7 mark as a junior. In all, he won 88 varsity matches in three years.
“He needs to take the lessons he has already learned and apply them at William Penn,” Rhoades said. “Like many wrestlers who make the college jump, he will most likely get his butt kicked early on but he knows that doesn’t matter as long as he keeps getting up and trying again, and keeps working hard on getting stronger and developing as a more complete wrestler.”
No doubt Elswick will give it the ol’ college try.