Dexter third-grader wins state championship in wrestling


Dexter's Cole Hatfield hoists his state championship trophy into the air. photo by Stacey Hatfield

Five years into his wrestling career and Dexter third-grader Cole Hatfield achieved another big win after recently earning the Mid-Michigan Wrestling Association’s State Championship for his weight class of 9/10 year olds at 67 pounds.

The Sun Times News (STN) caught up with Cole, who is a student at Wylie Elementary School, to ask him how he feels about being a state champ.

“It feels amazing to be a state champion!” he said. “I really wanted to win.”

He said he’s been a state champion before, but he worked really hard this season to try to make it happen again.

“I knew this year was going to be hard because I was 9 years old in the 9 and 10 year-old age group,” he said. “I also had two major setbacks at the beginning of the school year, so I wasn’t sure what this season would be like. I had an emergency appendectomy the second day of school and a second surgery at the beginning of December.”

But those setbacks didn’t stop him.

To get to the championship, he took first place at south regionals in Howell, after pinning all four of his opponents. From there the top five wrestlers from regionals went to states.

“At states I pinned my first three opponents, then won by a 2-0 decision in the finals to a past state champion,” Cole said of his path to the championship.

Cole Hatfield at right working on his opponent. photo by Randy Honiss of the Michigan Matcats

His path really began when he started wrestling when he was five years old. He wrestles with the Michigan Matcats Wrestling Club out of South Lyon. He also wrestles with the Shamrock Select Wrestling Club out of Detroit Catholic Central in Novi.

What drew him to the sport was the hard work and dedication it takes to compete.

“I like to wrestle because it’s a hard sport, and it pushes me to be my best,” Cole explained and added that although he’s on the mat by himself, the team also plays a big part, “I also like to wrestle with my teammates during practice. We make each other better.”

In getting ready for the championship, Cole had been practicing four days a week, an hour and a half each practice since the beginning of January. He said he got some important support along the way and he’s grateful for that.

“I’d like to thank my family, coaches, teammates,” he said. “My dad is my coach. He takes me to practice and teaches me a lot of moves. He also practices with me at home. He coaches me during every match. My mom always comes to watch me and cheer me on, and my sisters and extended family cheer me on too. I’ve got a big cheering section!”

STN asked one of his fans about him and his big win.

“We are extremely proud of Cole’s strength and determination,” said his mom, Stacey Hatfield, speaking on behalf of his dad, Mike and his sisters, Hadley and Eden.

“He really wanted this win, and he got it!” his mom says with pride. “He’s been working extremely hard all season. He’s gives 110 percent at every practice he attends. He pushes himself extremely hard for the entire hour and a half each and every time. When Cole steps on the mat he’s all business, but off the mat he is a very kind and sweet boy! We love you, Cole!”

Cole right after a big win. photo by Randy Honiss of the Michigan Matcats
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