Elizabethton grappler brings dedication to the mat

Published 9:47 am Thursday, December 28, 2017

Elizabethon junior wrestler Kilroy Hill brings a lot to the mat.
And according to Elizabethton High School wrestling coach Eddie Morrell, who co-coaches the Cyclones with coach Travis Pennell, one of Hill’s biggest assets is how much he has matured since last season when he placed fourth at 152 pounds during the TSSAA wrestling championships.
“He has matured in that he takes constructive directives very well now,” said Morrell. “Before he was a little younger, and sometimes it is tough for an athlete to take directions. Kilroy takes direction very well now and understands that he has people behind him that wants to see him succeed and are willing to go to any length to make sure that he does.
“It has made a big difference in his wrestling,” added Morrell. “To me, he is starting to become more methodical on the mat. He knows what he wants to do when he goes out, and he achieves it.
The Cyclones are roughly eight events into the wrestling season, and so far Hill has amassed a 15-1 record at 152 pounds. Here recently, Hill became one of the program’s first wrestlers, along with teammate Hunter Morrell, to make it to the finals of the Bobby Bates Classic at UVA-Wise in Virginia. Hill took second during the tournament.
When asked what makes Hill a competitive wrestler, Morrell said it isn’t just one thing.
“What makes Kilroy a good wrestler is a combination of things,” said Morrell. “The number one thing is he loves the sport. He loves to get in and practice. He loves to get in and work. He loves to strategize, and he loves to figure things out. Those are some really good qualities to have when you are a wrestler.
“He is not afraid to try anything at least once,” added Morrell. “If it works for him, great. And if it doesn’t, he moves onto something else. It is that appetite for learning and application that sets him apart from the rest of the crowd.”
During practices, Morrell said that is easy to see how dedicated Hill is to his team and the sport of wrestling.
“He is one of the first ones on the mat, and he is one of the last ones off of the mat,” said Morrell. “I see the type of dedication in him that you see in leaders. He is not afraid to do anything in the room from demonstrating moves to leading drills to cleaning the mats. He is all-encompassing in that he is one of those kids that helps elevate your team to the next level.”
Currently, Hill is ranked third at 152 in TSSAA A-AA wrestlers by pin-tn.com, and Morrell feels that Hill could be poised for another big year of wrestling.
“He is putting together a really effective set of skills on the mat and combined that with his listening and add in his desire, he could do some big things this season,” said Morrell.

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