MHS’ Hodges captures state heavyweight wrestling title
Final match goes to tiebreaker before Angelo State-bound senior prevails
Senior Marshall Hodges from Midlothian High School achieved his childhood dream of becoming a state champion in wrestling after battling it out with top competitors from all regions of the state of Texas. The 2-day finals event was held April 23 and 24 at the Berry Center at Houston’s Cypress-Fairbanks I.S.D. facilities.
Hodges was joined by Felix Saunders, who finished in second place in the 152-pound classification; Karson Tompkins, who was third in the 182-pound class; and Eli Biermann, fifth in the 113 class. Tylor Knighton also made the trip as a state alternate; and Madeline Hodges also went as a girls state alternate.
Marshall Hodges was sorely disappointed last year (2020) when he was the “runner-up” to the state champion. However, this, his senior year, found him atop the leader board and ranked the entire season as the #1 contender as the 285 lb. Heavyweight in the U.I.L.’s top weight category.
Hodges admits, “I felt a lot of pressure this year to compete at State with me already being ranked in the top position. With this being my last year to participate in high school, I knew that I had to go to State and make a statement! I basically had to work harder than ever before, and train in the smartest and most conservative way possible, if I wanted to win the State Title in my heaviest weight division. My bracket was not going to be easy knowing that I would be going against other outstanding wrestlers from other regions in the State, who most have never lost a match either – just like me this season.”
So, the center stage was set for Hodges on Saturday at the Berry Center. He had won his way into the final Heavyweight match, and boy, was it a great one! Against a very strong competitor from Leander Rouse High School, Aiden Butler gave Hodges all he wanted in the intense battle that ended in a 3-2 Ultimate Tie-Breaker for the 5A State Title.
Hodges explains, “The moment I knew the ref made the call that I had to go on the bottom to start the final Ultimate Tie-Breaker, I realized that THIS was my chance to finish it right here! And I somehow did it! After that escape I made, it instantly occurred to me that my dream had come true!”
To culminate his four-years as a Panther wrestler, Hodges finishes his career with 123 wins, 4-time District Champion, 3-time Regional Champion, State Runner-Up (last year), and a State Championship to cap his final high school wrestling days.
MHS Head Coach Bryan Shivers says, “Marshall did an outstanding job going undefeated and putting the exclamation point on his senior year by winning gold at the State wrestling tournament. Proud of his hard work and effort, but more proud of his character. Big things are ahead in the future for that young man!”
The Midlothian Panthers Wrestling Booster Club remarks on their Facebook page, “Good luck to Marshall Hodges at Angelo State University next year on a football scholarship. ASU is definitely getting a winning when they chose him.”
Hodges says, “I would like to personally thank my mom, dad, and sister for always supporting me on this journey I’ve experienced since I was 6 years old. I could not have reached my goal without them! I would also like to thank my high school wrestling coaches along the way – Shivers, Reed, and Irwin, for pushing me to reach my fullest potential and to never give up, even at the last 3 seconds of my semi-finals match at double-overtime (the prior week in Prosper at the Regional Finals). And, lastly, I would like to thank Tater Beard, Coach Wendel, Coach Curbo, Coach Anderson, and the rest of the Panther football coaching staff, M.I.S.D. teachers and staff, school board, and administration for the continued support this year. I appreciate the way they pitched-in to help me celebrate the most memorable achievement in my senior year in high school at MHS.”
As of right now, Hodges signed a letter of intent in February to play football at Angelo State University in San Angelo. His future scholastic plans include majoring in Commercial Aviation and Marketing.