From Day One to DI

Senior wrestler from Jeremiah Kent talks about how the sport has impacted his high school years.

Kieran Malloy

The rule of 10,000 hours states that for someone to be considered extremely skilled or a complete expert of a skill, they must spend, you guessed it, 10,000 hours working on and practicing that technique.

In some rare cases there are individuals that are able to achieve this high level of performance when they are still far from the 10,000 mark.

Hickman senior Jeremiah Kent has had the wrestling world watching him from the moment he stepped on the mat freshman year. Considered one of the top wrestlers in the country, Kent has progressed in leaps and bounds to establish himself as one of the dominant wrestlers in his class in only four seasons on the mat.

“I’m blessed and thankful to be able to hop in the sport and be successful,” Kent said.

Most wrestlers that perform on the level that Kent does currently have been wrestling their whole lives and have exhausted all that they can learn. This is where Kent differs from those wrestlers. Being new to the sport, he still is only scratching the surface of his full potential.

“I’m still pretty young to the sport and have so much to learn,” Kent said. “I don’t see a peak coming in my performance anytime soon.”

This fall, Kent accomplished what would seem impossible to most, and before he was even halfway through his senior season committed to wrestle at the collegiate level at the University of Missouri, one of the top five programs in America.

“The recruiting process was pretty smooth for me,” Kent said. “It was an easy choice. It’s close to home, I know everyone in my recruiting class and tiger style is known for its success. Mizzou is ranked 3rd currently. And it was the best wrestling school that offered me.”

This feat came at no small cost though. With nearly no knowledge of the sport coming into high school, and only three years to impress college coaches, Kent knew he would have to work twice as hard and extend his training outside of the Hickman team.

“I wouldn’t say I’m different than other wrestlers, but there are two kind of wrestlers,” Kent said. “Ones who just wrestle only during the high school season, and then the ones who wrestle all year round. I fall into the second category.”

Kent can attest much of his success to his natural gifts for the sport, but also the strength and support he has had from his coaches and family throughout the process.

“The biggest influence on my wrestling career were my coaches and family,” Kent said. “I come from a football family. My brother plays at the collegiate level and I always thought I would follow his footsteps until I fell in love with wrestling. Because my family was new to the sport it was really up to the coaches.”

Many think that wrestling is an individual sport. That however is only partially true. Yes, one is on the mat by themselves, but the support and guidance given off the mat is so great that a wrestler never truly goes into a match alone.

“My coaches are like fathers to me, anything I need they have my back,” said Kent. “I think your relationship with wrestling coaches are different because the team is a lot smaller than most teams. You can sometimes spend days at a time with them.”

Head Hickman wrestling coach Dan Pieper has been the driving force behind Kent progression through his high school career, both as a coach and a mentor.

“You build such a bond and most people don’t get that opportunity with their coach,” Kent said.

Kent will enter into his college career as one of the top ten wrestlers in his weight class nationwide. A young prodigy, who still has far to go before his ceiling is reached, Kent will undoubtedly continue to impress coaches and opponents. 10,000 hours or not, this young wrestler has become a Hickman great and the best is surely yet to come.