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Former BG wrestler wins Washington state title (03-15-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by JOE SZYMCZAK Sentinel Sports Writer   
Friday, 15 March 2013 09:18
John Hoover goes for a takedown earlier this season. (Photo courtesy of the Hoover family)
A little of Bowling Green wrestling has reached the west coast.
Former youth and Bowling Green Junior High wrestler John Hoover recently won the Division 3A (1086-1303 students) state title at 145 pounds for Mount Spokane High School in Spokane, Wash.
It wasn't the first award of the week for the Mount Spokane wrestler.
Hoover also earned the Shining Star Award. The award is a recognition for accomplishments inside and outside the classroom. He holds a 3.8 a grade-point average and has congressional appointments from a House member and a Senator for the Naval Academy to be decided this April.
"John is a great kid and very well rounded," said Mount Spokane coach Travis Hughes. "Great student, Eagle scout and is anticipating an appointment to the Naval Academy. He plans on wrestling next year at the academy. He placed fifth last year (2012) and was 33-8 this season."
The second award came when he defeated Killian Page of Marysville, 5-0, for the state title in the Washington State Mat Classic XXV.
"He was a thrower," said Hoover, "so I had a defensive approach, no tie ups, no over-unders. I stayed outside and waited for my openings."
Hoover's challenge was in the semifinals with defending state champion Jesse Lopez of Everett. The match was tied 2-2 after two periods. The wrestlers had a pair of escapes and each penalized for stalling. Hoover's double leg takedown in third put him ahead 4-2. He lost an escape in the third, but prevailed 4-3.
"It was more mental," said Hoover about this year as opposed to his fifth place last year. "You have to have the belief that you can do it. It's your last year and you have to give it your all."
"We moved to Spokane when John completed eighth grade," said John's father, who also is named John, about leaving Ohio. "He has been very active since the youth wrestling in Bowling Green.''
Hoover was eighth in the junior high state tournament and  had a 65-10 record in junior high.
Greg Hoverson and Jack Kieffer helped Hoover get started in wrestling in the third grade.
"We felt so bad for Dalton Ishmael (on finishing second in the Ohio state tournament) because Dalton and John would go to all those youth tournaments together,'' the elder Hoover said.
"I remember when I was in junior high we wrestled in the (administration building) basement," reminisced Hoover. "For warmups we would run some laps up some stairs and down some stairs and by the closet hallway. me and Gutie (Anthony Gutierrez) would get out of a few laps and hide in the hall closet."
"John was a competitor,'' said Gutierrez. ''When we were in junior high, he was usually 40 or 50 pounds lighter than I was, but he was the first person that wanted to go against me.
"He wrestled tough and to the best of his ability. He was a fun guy to be around and a well rounded individual. In junior high, he had the work ethic for it,'' added Gutierrez about Hoover's possibilities for a state title. "He was a little more advanced as far as technique than the other guys in the room. When he left for Washington, I thought the sky was the limit for him and still is. He's got a lot ahead of him as far as wrestling and academics. He's a great student."

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