Hunt's unique approach makes him a tough wrestler

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Dacula wrestling coach Jason Holcombe describes Zeke Hunt's sense of humor as twisted. After an incident this summer, he has a good reason.

That just goes along with the type of wrestler he is on the mat -- unorthodox.

Maybe it comes from being one of 12 children or stepping out of the shadow of his older brother, who was a state champion.

Whatever it is about Hunt, his approach is different, but it works. He's a defending area champion going into this weekend's Area 8-AAAAA tournament. He holds a 38-1 record and is among the favorites to contend for the state championship in two weeks.

"His style is definitely a funky style, you really can't coach some of the stuff he does," Holcombe said.

Hunt's twisted sense of humor came into play last summer. The senior wanted to table top his coach, typically a harmless prank when one person is on the ground behind another person and a third person pushes the guy standing up.

Only Hunt did a modified version, rolling into the back of his head coach's legs. Holcombe fell over, but his ankle didn't give way. The result was a trip to the hospital with a broken ankle and a month in a walking boot.

"It was kind of scary thinking I just broke my coach's ankle," Hunt said as he held back a big smile.

Hunt's not really sure where the idea came from to table top his coach, just like he's not sure how he picked up his wrestling style. It's not so much he has a weird stance, but rather what he does on the mat. He contorts his body, scrambling for moves and making a bad position into something positive.

"I don't even know how to explain it. I just do whatever feels right. My coaches hate it," Hunt said. "It's just weird everything pretty much. I just get in weird positions all the time and find my way out of them. I love scrambling."

The style has worked its way into a successful season. The only blemish on Hunt's record was at the Gwinnett County tournament. As the No. 1 seed he was upset by Parkview's Will Squires in a high scoring match. Hunt came back and pinned his way through the rest of the tournament, including pinning Squires to place third.

"Now I realize every match I have to go out there with 'hey, no matter if they are really good or not so good, I have to think they are the best and be my best to beat this kid,'" Hunt said. "That's how I've gone out every match after that."

Holcombe realized he had something special with Hunt when he was a freshman. An injury forced Hunt to bump into the varsity lineup after spending the season on the junior varsity. A dual against South Forsyth came to the final weight, which was Hunt's weight. Hunt won by pin in his first varsity match, which was also against a state placer.

"It was a really good thing to see a freshman in his first varsity match and we needed a pin," Holcombe said. "That's when we figured we might have something in the works here."

Hunt is the seventh oldest of 12 kids in the Hunt family. His older brother Noah, a 2009 Dacula grad, was a state champion. It's a legacy he wants to continue at the state tournament later this month. He was a match away from placing as a sophomore and took fifth last year.

"I'm hoping to go all the way and win state," Hunt said. "I know there's some tough guys that I have to look out for and wrestle really good against to beat. I don't see why I couldn't beat them."