NEWBERRY — This past wrestling season has been a season that the Newberry High School Senior, Jacob Hopper, will not soon forget.
Hopper finished the regular season with an undefeated record of 28-0 and took the number one seed into the 1A/2A Individual Upper State Championships, only to lose a narrow decision in the last seconds of the match.
However, that loss would prove to be enough motivation for Jacob to finish his post season wrestling in championship style as the following weekend he was able to win his first ever 1A/2A Individual State Championship at the 138 pound weight class.
March 2 Hopper was selected to compete in the Annual North/South All-Star Wrestling Classic in Myrtle Beach.
On Friday night he wrestled Dajuan Buksha from Fort Dorchester High School and was able to secure a pin in the second round of the all-star match. He then continued his streak on Saturday by again pinning his opponent Robert Cunningham from York High School.
Most seniors might see winning a state championship, being selected to an all-star wrestling event, and competing extremely well at that event as the perfect senior season.
While Hopper is happy with his results, he now has his eye on the next prize, which is competing at the High School National Tournament, which will be held at Virginia Beach, Va. at the beginning of April.
Joining Hopper on this journey will also be Newberry High School Sophomore, Davon Powell, who also claimed his own 1A/2A Individual State Championship this season.
Coach Kyle Cannon says, “Most wrestlers might be content with winning a state championship, taking time off to enjoy it, going back to normal eating habits and relaxing with friends, but the fact that the two of these guys want to find out exactly what they are made of by competing against the best wrestlers in the nation is just a great joy to see. I hope their determination and desire to be the best that they can be is only a glimpse of the potential that Newberry High School has to becoming a strong program. There are so many advantages to being so close to such a prominent program right here in our home town with Newberry College and the success they have had. I only hope that can trickle down to young kids in the entire county and see the sport of wrestling begin to excel at the high school level as well. Who knows, maybe it starts with wrestlers like Davon and Jacob to let people see what we are capable of with hard work and dedication.”