Wrestler’s emotional victory dedicated to his late ‘Popa’
by Staff Report
Mar 12, 2013 | 1857 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
On the same day when his “Popa” was laid to rest, Hunter Hardin found the emotional and physical strength to place third in the USA State Big Kids Wrestling championship held recently at Parkview High School.

“I wrestled with heart on Saturday for my parents and my Popa,” said Hardin, 13, who wrestles for the Woodland Grapplers and who attends Woodland Middle School.

Overall, he finished 5-1 at the Big Kids championship where he wrestled in the 14-and-under, 170-pound division.

After winning his first wrestling match and then losing the next, both by decision, Hardin “was on fire,” according to Derrick Shedd, his wrestling coach, while pinning his next three opponents. In his final match of the day, Hardin won by decision, 4-3, to take home the third-place trophy.

“Hunter wanted to be at the funeral, but I told him that his grandfather would have wanted him to finish strong,” said Valerie Weiss, Hunter’s mom.

Hardin’s parents returned from the funeral just in time to see their son’s arm raised in victory after he won his final match.

Overall, he compiled a 54-8 won-lost record that included 35 pins this season.

“Hunter is a great son, who works hard in both sports and school,” said his father, Patrick Weiss.