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Bob Jones wrestling head coach Matt Sweatman, center, recently hosted the scholarship signings of two of his superb wrestlers. Chris Congress, left, signed with Pratt Community College of Kansas, while Gabe Hunt signed with Kentucky Wesleyan. Photo- Tom Runnion, Bob Jones High

Chris Congress And Gabe Hunt Extend Wrestling Talents To College- Sign Scholarships

MADISON- The Bob Jones wrestling program now has eight athletes in the last five years who have signed college scholarships to continue wrestling at the next level. Chris Congress and Gabe Hunt became the latest to sign their names for collegiate wrestling at a recent ceremony held at the school.

Congress, who posted a 51-9 record in the 160-pound division, signed with the Beavers of Pratt Community College located in Kansas, while Hunt, who was 51-10 last season in the 145-pound division, decided to wrestle in college at Kentucky Wesleyan, located in Owensboro, Ky. Both helped the Patriots to a 26-3 dual record and to the Class 7A quarterfinals in the 2019-2020 season.

“I’m very proud of the dedication and hard work these young men have put into their wrestling careers and very happy they have the chance to continue wrestling at the next level,” said Matthew Sweatman head coach of the Bob Jones program.

Both wrestlers began the sport as early teenagers. Hunt joined the Bob Jones program after the freshman season upon being asked to join by Sweatman while Hunt was playing football for the Pats. Congress, on the other hand, wrestled for two seasons at Bob Jones’ crosstown rival James Clemens before transferring to Bob Jones for his two final years of wrestling.

“After playing both football and baseball, I chose wrestling as the sport teaches you life lessons and pushes you to excel and do your best,” said Congress, son of Kendrick and Erica Congress. “There were a few times I wanted to quit as the sport is very stressful, especially in the area of cutting weight to make the weigh-ins. Each time Coach Sweatman talked to me and explained things to where I understood the challenges and remained with the team.”

For Hunt, he began wrestling while living in Georgia as he was playing football and running track. He wanted to be larger in size and gain muscles, so he chose the sport that would lead him to a college scholarship.

“I’m very aggressive and technical on the wrestling mat,” said Hunt, son of Andrew Hunt and Dana Wilson. “I’m very quick and love to use techniques I’ve learned and my strength as I’m more of an offensive style wrestler almost always making the first move, especially I like to run the legs in my moves.”

Hunt chose the NCAA Div. II Panthers over a few other schools as he said he connected with the fellow athletes and the coaching staff. He plans on studying criminal justice as his father is currently a detective in New York. Hunt has plans on possibly becoming a U.S. Navy Seal.

“I’ve always wanted to be the best at anything I’ve done,” said Hunt. “I couldn’t have done any of this without the Bob Jones wrestling program.”

Congress wants to learn a hands-on trade and will attend college to become a welder. He added, “I’ve always been a hands-on kid, love to fix things and I am a fast learner.” He chose the royal blue and white colors of Pratt CC over a couple other schools located in Idaho and Kansas. The NJCAA Div. I athletic program has a top-notch wrestling program with an experienced coaching staff.

As for his early stages of wrestling, Congress said, “In the seventh grade, I lost a bet to my best friend and doing so I had to try out for the local wrestling team. I liked it and stuck with it.”

The losing bet did pay off as he’s about to venture into college wrestling- a place he’s always dreamed about. “I owe all of this to the Bob Jones wrestling program,” he added. “We have great coaches and certainly one of the best programs in the state.”

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