Hunter Yeargan was 4 years old when he began wrestling at his local YMCA.
Thanks to the opportunity to participate in the youth club, along with his introduction to USA Wrestling, UFC and Team Alphamale, his wrestling career got off to an early start and ended up leading him to Athens.
His journey started in a small Missouri town with a population of less than 6,000 people.
In Willard, Missouri, Yeargan grew up loving hunting and fishing activities. If he wasn’t spending his free-time bow hunting for deer, he was fishing for trout. He enjoyed these activities in both Missouri and Appalachia.
Athens gives its residents many opportunities to get outside, which was one of the factors that drew Yeargan to the Bobcats. With places like the Wayne National Forest less than an hour away from campus, Yeargan continues his outdoor hobbies at Ohio.
That doesn’t mean that the experiences are the same, however. Missouri’s land is mostly flat with occasional rolling hills. That’s a big contrast to the more treacherous hills and mountains Yeargan finds in Athens, which can make his hunting activities a bit more challenging.
Yeargan enjoys the change in scenery.
“It’s a challenge that I’ve accepted and really enjoyed,” Yeargan said. “Anything that gets me out in the woods is good to me.”
Of course, the outdoors isn’t the only thing that Yeargan is focused on at Ohio. He’s had plenty of successful and memorable moments wrestling with the Bobcats.
Some of Yeargan’s favorite duals are the ones that had large and energetic crowds.
“The energy from the crowd just feeds off onto you and in the match,” Yeargan said. “It makes it more fun for everybody, I think.”
Duals such as the visit to Iowa State last year stick out to Yeargan because of the large crowds present there. Even though the Bobcats lost the dual, the competitive atmosphere still sticks with Yeargan.
So far, Yeargan’s final year with Ohio has been rough. He’s battled a torn rib cartilage, a partially torn right LCL and the flu, which forced him to miss some duals earlier in the season.
Fortunately for Yeargan, he’s won over half of his matches this season despite the setbacks. Now that he’s feeling much healthier, he feels confident he can finish out the year on a high note with the Mid-American Conference tournament approaching.
Yeargan is happy with his team’s overall performance.
“As a team, we’ve accomplished what we’ve wanted to accomplish,” Yeargan said. “We’ve also had a couple of setback duals, but we’ve come back every time and redeemed ourselves, so we just need to finish the year strong.”
Yeargan doesn’t expect to have a career in wrestling after this season. He could see himself coaching in the future, but he’s going to spend his time searching for a job and enjoying his hobbies after he graduates. He hopes to find a job in the engineering or construction field.
Living in Athens was a big culture shock for Yeargan. He values the things that he’s learned while in college. He feels that his experiences have shaped him into a person that will be successful throughout his life.
He doesn’t think that any other place could compare, either.
“I think that there’s no other place that would have fit me as well as this place,” Yeargan said.