Sallisaw's Trey Hudgens - Athlete of the Month - Presented by Agent Mallory-Martin Funeral Home
Trey Hudgens is a bit unique in the world of wrestling. He stands 6-4 which is unusual for someone in this sport while wrestling at 170 pounds. But the Black Diamond junior is learning to take that length and use it to his advantage. “In the early going his length, particularly when he was in the bottom position, was a problem,” said his coach Darren Peaster. “But this past summer he went to the Purler Wrestling Camp and learned a lot and now he’s improving every week it seems. His technique is better but he also has the intangibles you need to be a better wrestler and person.”
Another thing that Hudgens is doing is watching videos of former wrestlers who had a similar frame and how they did things. “I started watching YouTube videos of former OSU national champ Mark Branch who was kind of tall to see what he does. I’ve also watched videos of two-time national champion Ed Ruth from Penn State.”
As a result, Peaster says that Trey’s ability to scramble from the bottom position has greatly improved this year. “I’ve told him he can learn to use his size as a benefit and he’s starting to buy into that.”
Hudgens had a hesitant start as a young wrestler. “When I was in kindergarten, I went to one practice and thought that’s not for me. But my parents kept coaxing me and I tried it again a couple of years later and I’ve been doing it ever since. I like the things wrestling teaches you like discipline,” said Hudgens. “I’ve found that because of my size I sometimes have to take the things I’m taught and tweak them some to adapt to my frame and style.”
Hudgens qualified for the state tournament last year but was weary from the season and didn’t fare well. But he says he learned a valuable lesson as he prepares to try and get back to state this year. “I think I have to pace myself a little more and peak at the right time-not be beat up and dog-tired like I was last year.”
Though just a junior, Hudgens stands out as a leader in the wrestling room according to his coach. “Trey is a student of the sport as you can tell from his film studying. He’s a team leader because the kids see what he does in the room and though he’s not a big rah-rah guy, he can get on someone if he needs to.”
Hudgens also plays in the band and practices at home – he plays the drums. “I have a drum kit in my room and I bang on it a lot and my parents are probably mad at me all the time,” Trey laughed.