Hughes will wrestle for Southeastern

For Southeastern University head wrestling coach Javier Maldonado, adding Wildcat Adrian Hughes to the fold is “a no-brainer.”

Last Thursday, Hughes, a three-time state placer, signed with the school, located in Lakeland, Fla., near Tampa. As he was a relative newcomer to wrestling — starting in ninth grade — so is Southeastern, which just completed its first season of mat competition.

As an assistant coach for five years at Osceola High School in Kissimmee, Fla., Maldonado became familiar with Hughes from the Wildcats’ visits to OHS for tournaments and respected the way he carried himself on the mat.

“He just wrestles hard and competes hard,” the Fire coach said. “He has something you can’t really teach … he’s kind of fearless out there.”

Hughes built some impressive results over his CCHS career. He was fifth as a sophomore at 106 pounds in the Class 6A state traditional, and in the last two Class 5A traditional meets, placed second at 126 and 145.

The main lesson Hughes said he learned at Camden County was that “everything relies on you. Nothing works until you do.”

“He’s tough mentally and physically, which is most important for a college wrestler,” Camden County head coach Jess Wilder said, adding while Hughes is still learning, he doesn’t overthink things on the mat.

“Once we knew he bought in, we knew the sky was the limit for him,” Wilder said.

Originally from Bainbridge, Hughes has lived in Camden County for nine years. At Southeastern, he has goals of being a four-time All-American and an honor graduate, and plans to study sports management in hopes of becoming a coach someday.

Tribune & Georgian

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