NCAA Wrestling enthusiasts worldwide are familiar with the prestigious Dan Hodge Trophy, awarded annually to the most outstanding collegiate wrestler in the United States. But have you heard about its junior counterpart, the Junior Hodge Trophy Presented by Resilite? The Junior Hodge Trophy is a testament to the rising stars of wrestling who display exceptional skill, dedication, and sportsmanship just like its name sake Dan Hodge.
What is the Junior Hodge Trophy?
The Junior Hodge Trophy is an award that recognizes the top high school wrestlers in the nation. Named in honor of the legendary Dan Hodge, widely regarded as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, this award serves as a symbol of excellence in amateur wrestling. Dan Hodge was an undefeated three-time NCAA champion and Olympic silver medalist. Dan Hoge was known for his incredible athleticism and dominance on the mat. By carrying his name, the Junior Hodge Trophy pays tribute to his legacy while celebrating the promising young talents who hope to follow in his footsteps.
Resilite is the Official mat maker of the NCAA. The preferred wrestling mat for both the B1G championships, High Schools and is trusted by 99% of the Division I Wrestling programs. Resilite is a family-owned, Women-Owned Small Business and proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Junior Hodge Trophy. With over six decades of experience in producing high-quality wrestling mats, Resilite understands the importance of providing athletes with wrestling mats that meet the ASTM IMPACT Standards and durable surfaces to practice and compete on. Their commitment to wrestling goes beyond just providing mats; it extends to supporting and nurturing young talent through partnerships like the Junior Hodge Trophy.
The History of the Junior Hodge Trophy
The Junior Hodge Trophy, presented by Resilite, is a prestigious award that recognizes the brightest young wrestling talents. It is a fitting tribute to Dan Hodge's legacy, and the resilience and quality of Resilite's mats make them an ideal choice for an award presentation that honors the best high school wrestlers in the country. As Resilite continues to support the sport by providing top-quality wrestling mats, young athletes can train and compete confidently, knowing they have a safe and reliable surface beneath them. The Junior Hodge Trophy truly represents the future of wrestling and the promise of greatness in the making.
The History of the Junior Hodge Trophy Winners?
2023 Cael Hughes Stillwater (Okla.)
2022 Nick Feldman Malvern Prep (Pa.)
2021 Jesse Mendez Crown Point (Ind.)
2020 Keegan O’Toole Arrowhead (Hartland, Wisc.)
2019 Andrew Alirez Greeley Central (Okla.)
2018 Gable Steveson Apple Valley (Minn.)
2017 Daton Fix Sand Springs (Okla.)
2016 Mark Hall Apple Valley (Minn.)
2015 Zahid Valencia St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
2014 Chance Marsteller Kennard-Dale (Fawn Grove, Pa.)
2013 Bo Jordan Graham (St. Paris, Ohio)
2012 Jordan Rogers Mead (Spokane, Wash.)
2011 Logan Storley Webster (S.D.)
2010 Logan Stieber Monroeville (Ohio)
2009 Chris Perry Stillwater (Oklahoma)
2008 Jason Welch Las Lomas (Walnut Creek, Calif.)
2007 Cody Gardner Christianburg, Va.
2006 David Craig Brandon (Florida)
2005 Troy Nickerson Chenango Forks (New York)
2004 Jeff Jaggers St. Peter Chanel (Bedford, Ohio)
2003 Mark Perry Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.)
2002 Teyon Ware Edmond North (Oklahoma)
2001 Steve Mocco Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.)
2000 Jesse Jantzen Shoreham Wading River (New York)
1999 Damion Hahn Lakewood (New Jersey)
1998 Shane Roller Bixby (Oklahoma)
Who was Dan Hodge?
Dan Hodge, whose full name was Danny Mack Hodge, was an American amateur and professional wrestler, as well as a boxer. He was born on May 13, 1932, in Perry, Oklahoma, and passed away on December 24, 2020. Hodge is widely regarded as one of the greatest amateur wrestlers in American history.
In his amateur wrestling career, Dan Hodge achieved numerous accolades, including winning two NCAA wrestling championships in the 177-pound weight class while competing for the University of Oklahoma in 1955 and 1956. He was known for his incredible strength and grappling ability, and he was often described as having an almost superhuman grip.
Hodge was also an Olympic silver medalist in freestyle wrestling at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. He lost in the finals to Soviet wrestler Anatoly Parfyonov.
Outside of his amateur wrestling career, Dan Hodge briefly transitioned to professional wrestling, where he became a well-known and respected figure. He was known for his technical wrestling skills and was a two-time NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion.
Perhaps one of the most enduring aspects of Dan Hodge's legacy is his reputation for having an extremely powerful grip. He famously demonstrated his grip strength by crushing apples with his bare hands, earning him the nickname "The Killer" Hodge.
Dan Hodge was inducted into multiple wrestling halls of fame, including the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. His impact on the world of wrestling and his legendary status have left a lasting legacy in the sport.
The Role of Wrestling Mats:
Wrestling mats are essential for the development of young wrestlers as they provide the necessary grip and shock absorption required during training and competition while ensuring safety. Resilite's wrestling mats are known for their reliability and durability, making them a trusted choice for schools, clubs, and organizations nationwide. These mats allow wrestlers to focus on perfecting their technique and pushing their limits, knowing that they have a safe and comfortable surface to wrestle on.