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BK Outstanding Student Athlete: Riley's Elijah Hipskind

WSBT 22 Photo

South Bend Riley Wrestling has been serving up surprises this season, with a win over Penn for the first time in over a decade and a lengthy list of impressive individual records.

One of those comes from Elijah Hipskind. We looked into the unlikely way that the sophomore has found a way to sharpen his skills.

“One's a gentle instrument, and one's a rough throwing sport,” said Hipskind

Elijah Hipskind excels at both the cello and wrestling.

“You've got to have rhythm for both of them,” said Hipskind. “You've got to keep the beat when you're playing the cello, so you don't go too fast or too slow to keep up with the rest of the orchestra. You've got to have rhythm when you wrestle because if you start going all crazy, you're going to make a mistake. If you don't go anywhere, they're just going to beat you. You've just got to have a pattern or a rhythm that you can follow to finish whatever you're doing whether it be a piece of music or a wrestling match."

Hipskind follows a pretty simple melody on the mat, which has allowed him to dominate in his first year as a Riley varsity wrestler.

"Last year, he was on JV and wrestling a weight class above and he saw an opening for a varsity position this year,” said his coach.”He came in and he just stuck his tag in that spot and I said 'You're going to go for it huh?' and he's done a great job with that as well.”

“I don't actually have a huge variety of moves,” said Hipskind. “I just have a rather small number of moves that I'm decent at and coach tells me just run what you know.

While classical music and front head locks are an unlikely pair of talents, they are quite possibly the reason Hipskind is standing out as a sophomore.

"It's a rock band sport,” said his coach. “You'd think he'd be out there making loud music and banging on drums, stuff like that. No, It's the mental aspect. These guys are intelligent human beings. They can translate their physical with the mental and be successful -- that's what he’s got in his bag of tricks right now: he's got that muscle memory to position himself in good places to score points when he needs to score points.”

“My goal is by at least by the end of all of my years of wrestling in high school, if not by the end of this year, I want my name up on that wrestling wall of fame back there,” said Hipskind. “All you've got to do is qualify for state to get on there. I've got to place at semi-state and I'll get my name up on the board.”

Riley wrestling at Adams High School tonight starts at 7 p.m.

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