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Cody Hummer: What weight to wrestle?
Super 32 showed me where I need to improve and what weight I need to wrestle this year
EDITOR’S Note: Cody Hummer, a high school junior wrestler from Savannah, Mo., a small community north of Kansas City, is providing insight as a high school wrestler for WIN this season. Recently, Cody traveled Greensboro, N.C., with his club team and competed at the Super 32 Challenge. Cody, who won a Missouri state championship at 103 pounds last year, competed at 112 pounds at the Super 32, where he won his first two matches before losing 4-0 to Anthony Ashnault, who is ranked No. 1 nationally by WIN at that weight. He then split two consolation matches.
Cody spoke to WIN editor Mike Finn recently about his experience at the Super 32 and how it affected what weight he will compete at during this winter’s high school season.
WIN: You competed in the tough Super 32 Challenge at the end of October in North Carolina. While you may not have won as many matches as you would have liked, what benefits did you get from competing in this national tournament?
CODY: It really is one of the toughest tournaments in the country that I can compete in. It gave me a chance to wrestle with the best and allowed me to compete with my club team, Team Central, for the last time this year.
WIN: What makes tournaments like the Super 32 so tough?
CODY: The East Coast is represented and mainly the elite high school wrestlers that won their individual states or pre-qualified at certain tournaments (compete at the event).
WIN: I know you want to return to the Super 32 in the next year and win the event. What does it take to win a tournament like the Super 32?
CODY: You have to win five or six matches over two days. It comes down to all the training that you are doing and you have to cut weight the right way. This year I don’t know if I did it right or not and it kind of affected me when I wrestled. Being on the top of your game from all three positions is necessary to win Super 32, which is tough if you also concentrate on freestyle and Greco and then take a little time off after Fargo.
WIN: Because you did not cut weight the way you had wanted before the Super 32, did you not have enough stamina and energy to compete at your best at the Super 32?
CODY: Yes but it’s a matter of being comfortable and that you do have enough energy to wrestle all those matches that you get. At 112 pounds, at the end of the first day, you’d wrestle one match and then wrestle another 15 minutes later.
WIN: You wrestled and lost to Anthony Ashnault, a young man who is ranked No. 1 at 112 pounds by WIN. Did it mean anything to you that you wrestled a “top-ranked” national wrestler?
CODY: I have to say no. Before I go out on the mat, I prepare for the match no matter who it is against and look forward to wrestling the best.
WIN: How much do national rankings actually mean to high school wrestlers?
CODY: Rankings are important, but subjective. I was ranked 29th with Wrestling USA magazine and I beat a No. 15 this summer in Southern Plains.
WIN: Do you want to be nationally ranked?
CODY: Yes definitely. Of course the higher you are ranked in your graduating year, that’s what college coaches are looking for.
WIN: How much of weight cutting is testing how much your body can handle? Do you wait for your body to tell you how much you can lose?
CODY: Once you say you are going to a certain weight, it’s pretty much all mental trying to get down to it, realistically.
WIN: What is the best way to get down to a certain weight in your mind?
CODY: It has to be realistic. But at the same time if you say you are going to go down to a weight, you have to make it up in your mind like I AM going to get down to this weight. You can’t say I’m going to try and get down. It’s going to be a push but I’m determined enough to know that I can do it and I will get down to it.
WIN: Did the Super 32 help you decide what weight you want to wrestle during the high school season?
CODY: Yes. A lot of factors come into play when I decide what weight I will wrestle in high school. I have to decide how my weight-lifting goals mesh with whether I am trying to slim my body or build it up. I need to decide if I’m going to focus on my technique side rather than on cutting weight. There are many factors to consider in a relatively short period of time and then get my plan started.
WIN: So what are the top three factors that will help you decide what weight to wrestle?
CODY: The first factor that comes into play when you are cutting weight is that you have to take into consideration is if you are going to focus more on technique hard or the weight-cutting side. If you have a practice right before a big tournament and you are going to go up a weight, you can focus more on technique and lifting weights.
No. 2 is your growth and the rate in which you are growing. The third factor is the competition. Who is going to be in your bracket? There may be someone you want to knock off or who you are ready to chase after and compete against.
Also, I need to tell you about something that happened when we competed at the NHSCA Nationals in Virginia Beach last spring. After I got done becoming an All-American, I walked out and one of the Big 12 coaches was out of the arena eating while I was wrestling my match. I asked him, “Why weren’t you out there?” He told me he doesn’t watch matches until 119 pounds.
WIN: So with that in mind, are you saying you want to get bigger to attract college coaches?
CODY: Yes. I am going to wrestle at 119 this high school season.
WIN: Now that you’ve decide to go up, does that make you feel happier or does it feel like even more of a challenge considering you will wrestler bigger guys?
CODY: I would say both. It does make me happy and more positive about school and everything. Cutting weight puts a mental toll on you that tends to affect other areas of life.
WIN: Talking about family, your brother, Seth, also competed at the Super 32 at 103 and finished 2-2 at 103. Did you try to be a brother and help him or is it every man to himself?
CODY: All four brothers support each other each match by being mat side. We always drill together and go through hand fighting and stuff before each match. I try to stay positive. I’ll give him pointers.
If he wins, it is a confidence booster for myself and good vibes for the family.
WIN: What about the other side? What if you lose? Do you want to be left alone?
CODY: In our family, if we lose a match, we have a rule that we go by: that whenever you step off a mat, you need to have the same emotion on your face that you had when you stepped on the mat, no matter if you’ve won or lost. Just know that it is in the past and you should focus on the new match. That’s the same rule we followed when we competed in tournaments like Tulsa Nationals as little kids.
In Fargo, I had a really tough loss to make the finals. After that, I did honestly want to be left alone.
WIN: What do you do when you are left alone? Is there anything a person can say
CODY: It depends on what they say to you. I calm myself down and bring myself back to where I am and what I have to do to keep moving forward.
(NOTE: To correspond with Cody Hummer or his three brothers during the season, e-mail them at email@example.com.)