The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

High School Sports

April 25, 2012

Three Neosho wrestlers sign with Neosho County

NEOSHO, Mo. — Trevor Hughes, Ethan Pogue and Jared Brock of Neosho will continue their wrestling careers after they signed Tuesday to compete at Neosho County Community College in Chanute, Kan.

Brock was 34-9 as a senior and placed sixth in the 138-pound division at the MSHSAA Class 3 Wrestling Championships. Pogue, 49-7, placed fourth at 152 pounds.

As a junior in 2010, Hughes won the state championship at 119 pounds despite a spinal injury he sustained as a sophomore during a tournament in Kansas City.

“I’ve been wrestling for 15 years and I thought maybe it’s time to quit,” said Hughes, who is the younger brother of Neosho head coach Jeremy Phillips. “I had a fractured spine my sophomore year, then my senior year I tore my shoulder. So I figured I would take a break, but I definitely miss it.

“I helped out over the summer with some youth wrestlers,” he said. “I want to be a coach. That’s one of my opportunities, for sure.

“Most of the kids I grew up with have wrestled with me. The difference with our team is the sense of family we had. It’s just hard to beat.”

Neosho won back-to-back Class 3 state championships in 2010 and 2011. The Wildcats were state runner-up in 2009 and placed fourth in 2012 and 2008.

Brock placed third in the state meet at 130 pounds a freshman. He was runner-up at 130 pounds as a sophomore and was sixth at 138 pounds as a senior despite a high-ankle sprain.

“I knew wrestling was my way to get to college for a long time,” Brock said. “For motivation, I’ll always look at that second place. But the best times were the bus rides back when everyone was happy and in good moods.”

Of the three wrestlers, Phillips said he has been most surprised with the development of Pogue.

“I never thought he would go on and wrestle in college,” Phillips told the crowd near Neosho’s gymnasium and trophy case. “He improved year to year, every year.

“All three of them know how to battle through injury,” he said. “Trevor was the most severe with his back. We didn’t even know if he would have a senior year. I truly believe that with these three young men, the best is yet to come.”

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