Athlete of the Week Archive

Nov. 10, 2008

LARAMIE, Wyo. -



Mikel Hoopes


What prompted you to return to wrestling last year?
"I watched the Cowboy Open two years ago and felt like I had to prove to myself that I was good enough to compete at the division one level, so the next year I entered the tournament. I thought that was where it would end, but the coaches asked me to come out for the team. It was basically a dream come true."

Was it difficult to get back into wrestling shape or had you been able to maintain that high level?
"I don't think I ever got into good enough shape last year. It was extremely hard to get back after being away for five years. Plus the injuries I had took me off the mat for a good portion of last season."

What is it like to be married when a lot of your teammates are 18 or 19 years old?
"It's kinda weird. I don't hang out a lot with the guys, cause I have different priorities."

Do you have a go to move? Pin move?
"My go to move on my feet is my high crotch. My favorite pinning move is a head lever."

After weigh-in, what is the first thing you like to eat?
"I am usually not as interested in eating as I am drinking after weigh-ins. I like to drink rip tide rush Gatorade."

If you could give a novice wrestler one tip, what would it be?
"The off season is as important if not more important than the regular season, so use it right."

What is your favorite drill/workout? Least favorite?
"I don't like to drill. I like to get warmed up and then live wrestle."

Who is the toughest guy you have ever wrestled?
"I am not sure. I do remember one time in Jr. High I was about to wrestle this kid who was wearing glasses and walked all hunched over. I was thinking to myself that the match would only last 30 seconds (thinking I would kill him). Well, it did only last 30 seconds but it ended up being the worst beating I have ever had on the mat."

Is there something that links wrestlers to hunting/fishing? Seems like everyone on the Wyoming team enjoys those things...
"I don't think it has much to do with wrestling. We are almost all from small towns and have hunted our whole lives."

If you couldn't wrestle and had to choose one other sport at UW to play, what would it be?
"I really liked football in high-school, so I think I would pick it."

At Hoopes holiday get-togethers who wins the family wrestling matches?
"I have a huge weight and strength advantage now-days, so I come out on top."

If you could add one thing to collegiate wrestling to make it more entertaining, what would it be?
"I never thought about this, but I would like to have an electric fence around the mat. I hate when people use the edge to get away from a takedown."

If you could have one super-power what would it be? Why?
"I think spider sense would be sweet. No one could ever take me down."

What is hanging on the walls of your bedroom and do you have any say in what is hung or does your wife pick?
"We have a shelf I made in shop to hold our alarm clock, and a picture of our wedding. I don't really care much what is on the walls, so my wife does most of that."

What is the first job you ever had?
"The first real job I ever had was grounds keeping for the town of Lusk, Wyo."

What are your three favorite bookmarks on the internet?
"I look at these three everyday; ufc.com, my online bank site, and a supplement web page."