By Mark Ambrogi
As a kindergartener, Hyatt Yeager started wrestling because he thought he would be a pro one day.
“I thought I was going to be in the WWE,” Yeager said of the pro wrestling circuit featuring the fake theatrics. “I thought it was going to be really cool. I started doing it, and I loved it.”
Although Yeager isn’t knocking out any opponents out with chairs or dressing as a villain, the senior has had his share of success for the Center Grove High School wrestling team.
“Hyatt has made big improvements with his mental toughness,” Center Grove coach Maurice Swain said, “He’s also made big improvements with his technique. Hyatt is very good in the top position. He does a very good job of turning his opponents from the top position which enables him to score near fall points.”
Yeager made it to the semistate as a sophomore in the 120-pound weight class. As a junior, his varsity matches were limited because he was in the same 126-pound class as Michael Tharpe, a 2022 graduate.
Yeager, who is again wrestling at 126 pounds this season, said being primarily on junior varsity last season made him eager to finish strong as a senior.
“The most improvement I’ve had is wrestling on my feet and just practicing hard every day,” Yeager said. “I think the (mental toughness) has come from maturity and pushing myself every day. Pushing myself to the breaking point every day has helped my mental aspect in the sport.”
Yeager has a 19-5 record through Jan. 14.
“Hyatt leads by example,” Swain said. “He works very hard in the practice room. His practice habits rub off on our younger guys which is what we want as a program.”
Yeager said the team has good chemistry.
“I feel like this team more than any definitely has the best skill and work ethic all around,” he said.
Yeager played baseball through middle school but gave it up to concentrate on wrestling.
Yeager said where there is a team aspect to the sport, he likes how his success depends on his own performance.
“Win or lose, it comes back to you, that’s what I’ve always loved about it,” he said.
Yeager said his father Shayne Yeager wrestled at Shelbyville High School.
While Yeager doesn’t play to wrestle in college, the sport will remain in his life.
“I’ll always try to give back whether it’s coaching or refereeing, I always try to be around the sport,” Yeager said. “I actually got to ref for the first time this year at the Pee Wee Center Grove tournament and really enjoyed it. It’s something I’d like to do more of in the future because it was really fun.”
THE YEAGER FILE
COLLEGE PLANS: Attend Indiana State University or Ball State University to pursue a degree in construction management.
HOBBIES: Fishing, playing drums, hang out with friends.
FAVORITE ATHLETE: Troy Polamalu
FAVORITE MOVIE: “42”
FAVORITE SUBJECT: History/government
FAVORITE BAND: Metallica
PARENTS’ NAMES: Julie and Shayne Yeager